Zionist Union MK dismisses possibility of joining the coalition

June 6, 2016  

MK Eitan Cabel (Zionist Union) said on Monday he believes that the chances of his party entering the coalition have diminished.

“I don’t know of negotiations and I hope there aren’t any. For me, there’s no door, no window and no cracks, but a cement wall separating between us and the government,” he told Haaretz.

“The issue that prevented our entry [to the coalition] with far better terms than are available today hasn’t changed: Bibi only speaks of the two-state solution and doesn’t do anything to advance it,” Cabel said, referring to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu.

Cabel told Haaretz Netanyahu lacks “the courage and the ability to put it in the coalition agreement because he doesn’t have a majority to pass it in his party and in the coalition,” adding that Netanyahu was “offering words, not action.”

Coalition talks between the Zionist Union and the Likud appeared to be over when Netanyahu joined forces with Yisrael Beytenu and Avigdor Liberman, but Zionist Union leader Yitzhak Herzog hinted on Saturday that his party would reconsider joining the coalition if Netanyahu ousted the Jewish Home from the government.

The talks on a unity government with Zionist Union reportedly fizzled over Herzog’s demand for a unilateral division of Jerusalem, among other things. With Yisrael Beytenu’s entry to the government Zionist Union has ratcheted up its rhetoric against the “most right-wing government ever.”

But Netanyahu last week called to expand the coalition even further during a Likud faction meeting, in an apparent overture to Herzog.

Meanwhile, Zionist Union lawmaker Itzik Shmuli also clarified that the string of declarations by Netanyahu and Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman on their support of the two-state solution and the assessments that these were meant to advance the peace process aren’t enough for his party.

“No one is going to fall off their feet by Netanyahu’s peace comments,” he told Haaretz.

“The public criticism of his latest moves is sky-high. Is that why he suddenly remembered the peace process? Everything will be judged by actions and not empty comments,” added Shmuli. 

Shmuli did not rule out that the Zionist Union would support any diplomatic move toward peace from the opposition. “With all due respect to the prime minister, he earned this suspiciousness with his endless zigzagging,” he added.

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