MKs: Take Liberman, Not Herzog, for Coalition Expansion

Israel Beyteinu party leader Avigdor Liberman seen with Zionist Camp leader Isaac Herzog during a plenum session and vote on expanding the number of ministers in the new forming government, a law which now passed on the first call, at the plenary in the Knesset on May 11, 2015. Photo by Miriam Alster/Flash90 *** Local Caption *** äöáòä ÷øéàä øàùåðä îñôø äùøéí äøçáä îîùìä îìéàä ëðñú äøöåâ îçðä äöéåðé àáéâåø ìéáøîï éùøàì áéúéðå
Yisrael Beitenu party leader Avigdor Liberman (R) seen with Zionist Camp leader Yitzchak Herzog during a plenum session in the Knesset. (Miriam Alster/Flash90)

If Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu feels a need to expand the government, it should seek to include right-wing parties, not the Zionist Camp, Likud activists said Wednesday. Speaking to Makor Rishon, members of the right-wing faction in the Likud said that, in response to reports that Netanyahu had reached out to Zionist Camp head Yitzchak Herzog to join the coalition, they had contacted Avigdor Liberman of Yisrael Beitenu to discuss conditions under which he would join the government.

“The only way to persuade Netanyahu to drop the idea of bringing Herzog into the coalition is to supply him with alternative possibilities,” the sources told the newspaper. “Netanyahu does not care that his coalition partner will be Zionist Camp, just that they will support him and his coalition in the Knesset. So far, that appears to be the only option, but if we present others, Netanyahu will consider them as well.”

A report on Channel Ten Tuesday said that Netanyahu had offered Herzog nine ministries to join his government. Netanyahu has not commented on the report, and sources close to him downplayed the report.

According to MK Stav Shafir of Zionist Camp, “joining the government would be a traitorous act against the public, which sent us to the Knesset as part of the opposition, as well as a traitorous act against the Labor movement and its ideology. We do not need to help whitewash the sins of the Netanyahu government – we need to fight them. I expect the party membership to oppose this, and to lead, not to be dragged into something we will regret.”