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Lieberman backs unity government

Yisrael Beiteinu leader Avigdor Lieberman said he now supports a coalition with the Likud and Blue and White parties.

Speaking to Israel’s Channel 13 News, Lieberman said: “We will force a government with the Likud and with Blue and White, which will be an emergency government, a national-liberal government. And we will do everything to block the haredim [ultra-Orthodox], who will not be allowed into the government.”

Despite previously saying “Blue and White will only be able to form a government with polar bears,” Lieberman wrote on Facebook yesterday that he would recommend to the President that the leader of whichever party received the largest number of seats in the next election be tasked with forming the next government, even if that person is Blue and White leader Benny Gantz.

Two months ago Lieberman warned against the negative impact of a unity government saying: “The State of Israel has known unity governments and national emergency governments when the nation faced difficult times — the Six-Day War, economic crises. Currently, there’s no reason because a unity government of that kind will be a national paralysis government.”

The Likud responded that the “cat” was “out of the bag” and that: “Lieberman has said explicitly that he is willing to go with Lapid and Gantz and to force the establishment of a left-wing government.”

Yair Lapid, the co-chair of Blue and White, said on Sunday that he believes a unity government headed by his party is the “right thing for Israel”. He wrote on Twitter: “We need a government that sets out each morning to tackle the country’s challenges, not the legal challenges of the Prime Minister.”

Ultra-Orthodox party Shas said: “Avigdor Lieberman isn’t relevant anymore. He’ll remain out of the next government. He’s done with the right, is locked into the left and that’s why he’s under pressure, hysterical, trying to cobble together votes, but he’s going to fail as always.”