Netanyahu said Liberman proves he will shift votes to the left-wing thanks to his agreement with Blue and White.
By World Israel News Staff
“I say this with sorrow but today it’s official. Liberman is moving votes from the Right to a government of the Left,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in a video post on Tuesday.
He referred to a vote-sharing deal inked between Avigdor Liberman and Benny Gantz, leader of Blue and White, a center-left faction.
The agreement cut between Liberman, head of Israel Beiteinu (or, “Israel’s Our Home”) party, and Gantz’s party ensures that extra votes aren’t lost. The two parties instead will pool their votes in the hopes that one of them will have enough to win an extra seat.
Liberman said it was merely a ‘technical’ move to ensure that a Knesset seat wouldn’t be lost. He pointed to similar deals his party made in the past with the Kulanu, Labor and New Right parties.
However, Netanyahu and his Likud party quickly pounced on the agreement as proof of what they had been saying since Liberman refused to join a right-wing coalition during government negotiations after April’s election. “Avigdor Liberman is now part of the Left,” Netanyahu said as talks failed.
“The cat is out of the bag,” Likud said in a statement on Tuesday. “Liberman signed a surplus agreement with Lapid and Gantz, after he publicly declared that he would support Gantz and Lapid for prime minister. Anyone who wants Netanyahu as prime minister must vote for Likud.”
Netanyahu also directed fire at Gantz and Yair Lapid, a co-leader of Blue and White. He attacked Lapid, who served as Finance Minister, for a poor understanding of economics and criticized Gantz’s positions when he was IDF chief of staff.
Liberman tweeted in defense, “The reaction of the Likud amuses me. Netanyahu made a defeatist agreement with Hamas, I made a vote-sharing agreement with Blue and White, seems to me preferable.”
Blue and White also absorbed criticism from the Democratic Union, which is further to the Left.
“The Blue-white surplus agreement with Liberman is their final crack-up, not only inwardly but also in values,” the party said in a statement. The party listed its numerous objections to the deal with Liberman and said, “Blue and White raised a white flag” of surrender.