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Asian Tribune is published by E-LANKA MEDIA(PVT)Ltd. Vol. 20 No. 102

Netanyahu won’t rule out ‘broad’ government with center-left — report

Jerusalem, 22 August, (

PM insists Blue and White’s place in his next coalition would be ‘in addition to, not instead of’ Likud’s ‘natural’ right-wing partners, likely making such a pairing impossible.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reportedly said he would not rule out a “broad” coalition government that includes elements of the center-left.

Netanyahu has vowed that he would not forge a unity government with chief rival Blue and White, but in a private conversation reported in Hebrew media, he expressed a willingness to form a government with the centrist party and those to its left.

But, he added, his government would be based first and foremost on Likud’s “natural” partners, right-wing and Haredi parties.

Netanyahu’s comments were made in a closed meeting on Monday while the prime minister was on a state visit to Ukraine, according to the Hebrew-language media reports.

Any center-left parties that seek to join a Likud-led coalition would come “in addition to” the right and ultra-Orthodox factions, “not instead of them,” he reportedly said.

He specifically named the Labor-Gesher and Blue and White parties, the reports said.

A Likud spokesperson did not deny the comments were made but noted that the the quotes attributed to the premier referred to a “wide government” and not a “unity” government.

A unity government would imply a government founded on an equal partnership between Likud and its primary challenger Blue and White.

“Likud is interested in forming a right-wing government,” the spokesperson told The Times of Israel. “Only a strong Likud can ensure that a right-wing government is formed.”

It was not clear how Netanyahu intended to keep his government purely right wing while also allowing in centrist and left-wing parties, which would likely demand some influence or say in government decisions in exchange for being in his coalition.

Netanyahu’s reported comments appeared to be a response to the growing popularity of Yisrael Beytenu chief Avigdor Liberman, who has made forcing a unity government of Likud and Blue and White a centerpiece of his campaign.

Liberman’s refusal to join a right-Haredi coalition in May torpedoed the formation of a coalition and led Netanyahu to call new elections.

Liberman’s five-seat faction has now doubled its size according to recent polls, upping the chance that Netanyahu will not be able to form a coalition with only right-wing and ultra-Orthodox parties.

Liberman has promised his voters he would force Likud and Blue and White, which has even less chance of cobbling together a like-minded coalition, according to polls, to form a shared unity government, possibly with a rotating premiership.

Blue and White chief Benny Gantz has repeatedly said he would not serve as a junior partner in a Netanyahu-led coalition government, and has conditioned a unity government on Likud’s ousting of scandal-plagued Netanyahu.

Netanyahu has insisted he is not interested in a unity government.

Courtesy: The Times of Israel

- Asian Tribune -

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the Prime Minister's Office in Jerusalem, on July 23, 2019.
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