Hatnua leader Tzipi Livni, soon to become justice minister and chief negotiator with the Palestinians, criticized her coalition partners on Saturday evening, saying she had “very deep differences of opinion” with the Jewish Home party led by Naftali Bennett.
As Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu prepared to inform President Shimon Peres that he had formed a government of which Livni, Lapid and Bennett are all members, Livni told Channel 2 she hoped Yesh Atid chairman Yair Lapid, who has forged a political alliance with Bennett, would not adopt his partner’s right-wing views.
“I expect that in this government, we will be supported by Yesh Atid, at least with regard to political issues,” Livni said. She added that she hoped the alliance would not prevent the new government from dealing with “fundamental issues” on which Bennett’s opinion differed with her own.
“Unfortunately, the alliance between Lapid and Bennett has brought these elements into the government,” the Hatnua chairwoman said, adding that Lapid and Bennett had failed to “cut her off” and reduce her party’s role in the new government.
The coalition agreement which was signed on Friday afternoon came on the penultimate day of a six-week period allocated by Peres to Netanyahu to muster a majority government. Livni’s Hatnua party signed up to the coalition last month, but Netanyahu then faced weeks of difficult talks with Jewish Home and Yesh Atid — both larger than Hatnua — over coalition terms.
The new government, which numbers 68 members, is to be sworn in next week.
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