Middle East Monitor / February 12, 2020
Yisrael Beiteinu MK Eli Avidar suggested yesterday that US President Donald Trump would help enable the formation of a coalition government after Israel’s forthcoming election.
Speaking in an interview with “The Land of Israel Network”, Avidar declared that his party’s leader, Avigdor Lieberman, “wants a Zionist government”.
According to Avidar, this means that the coalition cannot include the Joint List, or its constituent parties, since they “do all they can to derail the foundations on which the state is based” – likely a reference to demands by Palestinian citizens for a state of all its citizens.
The MK also attacked the ultra-Orthodox parties, claiming they are “against Zionism by definition”.
Asked who that leaves to form a government, Avidar said that once you exclude the Arab parties of the Joint List and the ultra-Orthodox parties, there are 90 Members of Knesset from which “you can definitely form a government”.
Expanding on his party leader’s call for a “liberal”, Zionist government, Avidar argued that the next government has “to do what is good for the State of Israel” and not impose lifestyles on others.
Avidar claimed that the third election in a year will prove decisive, particularly now that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has no immunity from prosecution.
“People don’t realise that Netanyahu is not going to stay there forever,” Avidar said, adding that the veteran Likud leader is a “temporary question”.
Avidar expressed confidence that a coalition government would be formed after the election, not least because of what he expects to be pressure from the US.
“We have a president in the White House who is eager for Israel to have a large government supporting his peace plan in his time frame ahead of the national elections in the United States,” Avidar said.
“I believe Donald Trump will be very instrumental in putting a lot of pressure on parties in Israel to form a large government.”