Itongadol.- Deputy chairwoman of the center-left Zionist Camp Tzipi Livni said the bloc – currently polling second after the ruling Likud party – would not sit in a coalition led by Prime Minister Netanyahu and which includes the rightwing Bayit Yehudi party.
Livni: Zionist Camp will not sit in Netanyahu-Bennett gov’t
“We are hoping to replace Netanyahu, not form a unity government with him,” Livni told Ynet in an interview Thursday morning.
When asked if the center-left bloc would sit in a coalition including Netanyahu, Bayit Yehudi leader and the ultra-Orthodox parties, Livni said: “A Bibi-Bennett-Haredi coalition, like the one Netanyahu is dreaming of, is a nightmare coalition for the average Israeli. We will certainly not join such a coalition.
Livni also slammed Netanyahu for his scheduled US congress speech, which has strained tensions between Israel and the US, after Netanyahu accepted a Republican invitation to address Congress without coordinating the visit with the Democrats or the White House, prompting claims he was turning Israel into a partisan issue.
Livni rejected Netanyahu’s claim he is giving the speech to protect Israel from the threat of a bad nuclear deal between world powers and Iran.
“Netanyahu is not traveling to the US for security or Iran. He is traveling for his own petty politics. If I thought he could convince anyone of anything and the visit would make a difference then I would not be saying so.
“He is throwing Israel’s security to the wind just so he can get a few more votes. He is damaging our ties with the US by causing an entire party – the ruling (Democratic) party – to feel unease. Our military abilities depend on the US.”
Livni says Netanyahu’s ego is largely to blame: “He loves the lime light, the applause and speaking, he thinks the setting and him speaking in fluent English is something that helps Israel. But the fact is that he going rustle up a few more votes with accent-less English which does not convince anyone of anything – quiet the opposite it seems,” Livni said.
“Netanyahu has brainwashed the public to think he knows how to deal with defense issues, but he responds very weakly to Hamas and Hezbollah,” she said.
Recent polling has placed Netanyahu\’s Likud at 26 Knesset seats followed closely by the Zionist Camp with 24, with a 4 point margin of error.