Avigdor Liberman refuses to convene Netanyahu for coalition talks – Israel News



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Will they laugh again in a few weeks? Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Avigdor Liberman

Will they laugh again in a few weeks? Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the president of Yisrael Beytenu, Avigdor Liberman.
(photo credit: REUTERS)

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Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called on the parties to join his coalition for a special meeting in the Prime Minister's office late Thursday, but Yisrael Beytenu's leader, Avigdor Liberman, declined to attend.

Likud reacted by attacking Liberman and warning that he could stop Netanyahu from forming a coalition. "Liberman promised his constituents that he would support the establishment of a right-wing government led by Netanyahu," Likud said. "He is now using excuses to prevent the formation of the government that could lead to the establishment of a leftist government."

The impasse on Thursday was the opposite of Wednesday, when the next government coalition reported progress in talks, a week before deadline for Netanyahu to form a government.

Netanyahu met Wednesday with Shas leader Arye Deri and Yisrael Beytenu's president, Avigdor Liberman, and progress was reported at both meetings.

"Things have finally begun to move," a source in Yisrael Beytenu said.

Issues ahead of Yisrael Beytenu include taking action against Hamas in the Gaza Strip, receiving the chair of the Knesset's Home Committee, setting pensions at 70% of the minimum wage and opposing laws that would allow DNA testing to prove people are Jewish.

But Liberman said Yisrael Beytenu would not join the government unless all party demands were met, including the passage of a controversial draft haredi (ultra-Orthodox) without change.

"I'm not ready for the compromise," Liberman told confidants, according to KANN. "If my conditions are not fully met, I will not go into the coalition, I want the whole package completely, completely, I will not grant a comma in the recruitment account.

One possibility supposedly raised is to pass the current draft conscription as it stands and change it later.

In a sign that he is about to return to the Ministry of Defense, Liberman recently met with IDF chief of staff Aviv Kochavi, Nadav Argaman, Shin-Bet chief, and interim police inspector Motti Cohen .

"Do not give in to [Netanyahu]Yair Lapid, leader of Yesh Atid, wrote in a tweet to Liberman, who replied: that he did not seek his advice.

"I need your help, I'll call, not tweet," Liberman tweeted back to Lapid.

Channel 12 reported that the coalition agreement would include support for the Supreme Court's cancellation bill, which would allow the Knesset to reactivate laws that were overturned by the Supreme Court by a simple majority.

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