New calls for peace with the Palestinians made by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman are nothing but talk, prominent Labor Party lawmaker Shelly Yacimovich said Saturday, even as her party leader was rumored to have resumed his efforts to bring the party into Netanyahu's government.
"When I see Netanyahu and Lieberman suddenly floating words of peace, surrounded by the humming of doves, I cannot but imagine them next wringing those doves' heads and baking them in an oven, stuffed with what's left of the Labor Party if we join them based on these words, god forbid," the former Labor leader said at a cultural event in Tel Aviv.
During the past few weeks, Netanyahu tried to form an alternative political process with a few Arab nations, led by Egypt. This push, started by opposition leader Isaac Herzog together with former British prime minister Tony Blair and other international sources, was meant to legitimize a deal for Herzog's entry into the government. When the far-right Lieberman entered the government instead, he issued several dovish statements, including an affirmation of support for the two-state solution.
Yacimovich, however, was less than impressed, saying that Zionist Union can support a push for peace just as easily from the opposition's benches. "If Netanyahu and Lieberman lead a real process, our finger will be there, we'll be a constructive opposition."
If talk turns to deeds, Yacimovich said, the discussion over Zionist Union's joining the coalition can be reopened. "I pledge that in an opportunity for real drama I'll be the one who makes sure we don't miss it," she said.
Yacimovich warned that joining Netanyahu's government under current conditions would annihilate the party, "politically, ideologically and morally," and slammed her party leader Herzog for weakening Zionist Union.
"Herzog never accepted the fact that he's the head of the opposition, and never led a strong opposition to Netanyahu," she said, adding that there was a strong chance that she would seek the party leadership herself.
Signs that the move to add the Zionist Union to the government is still on the table grew in recent days. Netanyahu and Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon publicly called on Herzog to join the coalition. Netanyahu even clarified in a speech to the Knesset plenum that he's holding on to the foreign affairs portfolio and other portfolios ahead of the party's possible entrance to the coalition.
In the meanwhile, the past few weeks have seen a real weakening in the Zionist Union lawmakers' opposition to joining the government.
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