Netanyahu Rules Out Coalition With 'Left-wing' Parties

Prime minister says Bennett's Habayit Hayehudi will be part of Likud government; poll gives Likud, Zionist Camp 23 seats each.

Jonathan Lis
Jonathan Lis
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Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the launch of Likud's election campaign, January 5, 2015.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the launch of Likud's election campaign, January 5, 2015.Credit: David Bachar
Jonathan Lis
Jonathan Lis

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Sunday he will not form a governing coalition with the left-wing parties as "an ideological chasm extends today between the Likud and Bougie [Isaac Herzog) and Tzipi [Livni]."

Naftali Bennett's Habayit Hayehudi "will be part of a wide Likud government I will form," Netanyahu tweeted.

In another tweet, the prime minister said that "if the Likud won't be big enough, there are no assurances I will be tasked with forming the government. There could be a left-wing government." Therefore, he added, (in Hebrew rhyming meter) "the choice this time is a big Likud or a left-wing government."

Also on Sunday, a Channel 10 poll found the Likud and the Zionist Camp are tied with 23 seats each.

According to the poll, Bennett's Habayit Hayehudi lost two seats since the channel's last survey, and is currently the third-largest party with 14 seats.

The poll gave the Joint List, representing Israel's unified ticket of Arab-Jewish Hadash and the Arab parties 13 seats, while both Yair Lapid's Yesh Atid and Moshe Kahlon's Kulanu stand at 10 seats each.

Aryeh Deri's Shas remains stable at six seats, United Torah Judaism also six, and Meretz, Yisrael Beiteinu and Eli Yishai's Yahad (Ha'am Itanu) all stand at five seats.

Asked who they would prefer to see as prime minister, 46 percent said Benjamin Netanyahu, and 31 percent said Isaac Herzog. 23 percent said they did not know.

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