Shamir Hints: Yisrael Beytenu Failed Because of Liberman

April 28, 2015  

Agriculture Minister Yair Shamir (Yisrael Beytenu), who chose not to run in the last Knesset elections after one term in office, on Monday hinted that the chairman of his party, Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman, was at fault for Yisrael Beytenu’s failure in the election.

Yisrael Beytenu won just six seats in the March 17 vote.

“It was a decision stemming from a particular policy, and an election strategy that this was its result. The result indicates that the strategy was not right,” Shamir told journalist Menachem Horowitz in an interview on the Galey Yisrael radio station.

Shamir, who is still Agriculture Minister until a new government is formed, said that following his departure from Yisrael Beytenu, he did not take part in the party’s strategy team ahead of the election.

“I did not participate in these elections, nor in the building of the new agenda, and so on. Judging by the results, the results are not good,” he said.

Horowitz then noted that it seems as though Liberman did not understand how to maintain Yisrael Beytenu’s traditional line of thinking and that he was looking for a new agenda which failed.

Shamir responded by saying, “I do not like to hand out grades. Liberman is a seasoned politician, he took calculated risks, and the result is what it is, I hope it goes better for him next time.”

With his resignation before Israelis went to the polls, Shamir had joined a group of key MKs who left Yisrael Beytenu. He was preceded by Tourism Minister Uzi Landau, Public Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovich, MK David Rotem, and Deputy Interior Minister Faina Kirschenbaum.

Shamir, the son of former Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir, chose to join Avigdor Liberman’s Yisrael Beytenu rather than the Likud, the party his father led. Before the last elections, Shamir criticized Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu for saying he supports a Palestinian state during the Bar Ilan speech in 2009.

“Netanyahu is zigzagging because he wants to please his voters,” Shamir said at the time, adding, “The two-state solution is not in the Likud platform. He made the Bar-Ilan speech that was not approved by the Likud’s institutions nor by the Israeli government at that time.”

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