There is no way forward for Zionist Union to join the coalition due to major gaps in their positions, co-leader MK Tzipi Livni has written to 30,000 party members. In the letter, which comes in the context of reported contacts over a national unity government, Livni wrote: “Anyone who joins the government and gives it a vote of confidence is party to the erosion of our values.”
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“There is a deep chasm between us and them, and darkness is over the face of that deep – we must remain determined and fight for our values,” Livni wrote, rather than providing votes that would legitimize policies in which Zionist Union does not believe.
Livni’s letter was written against the backdrop of reports that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Zionist Union co-leader MK Isaac Herzog had exchanged drafts of an agreement that would bring Zionist Union into the coalition. However, following the launch of an investigation of Herzog for campaign funding irregularities, the negotiations were halted.
Before the talks were suspended, it was reported that both sides had intended to reach an agreement during the Knesset’s spring recess. The agreement was to have been presented to the Knesset during the summer session at the end of May.
Nevertheless, major gaps remained on various issues, both on the diplomatic front and over Herzog’s demand that Netanyahu oust Habayit Hayehudi from the coalition, a demand that the prime minister rejected.
Zionist Union MK Merav Michaeli said Saturday night that she also opposed joining the government. “I trust the party chairman that Zionist Union will continue to lead the opposition against this terrible government and the damage Netanyahu is doing.”