PM claims Kahol Lavan is trying to establish coalition backed by Joint List, which would pose 'historic danger to Israel's security' ■ Gantz meets Rivlin for consultations
Avigdor Lieberman is the head of the Yisrael Beiteinu party, and is the former defense minister in the government of Benjamin Netanyahu.
Lieberman was born in 1958 in Moldova. His birth name was Evet, but when he and his family immigrated to Israel in 1978, he changed his name to Avigdor. In Israel, he served in the Artillery Corps of the Israel Defense Forces, and later earned a B.A. in International Relations and Political Science from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
Lieberman was one of the founders of the Zionist Forum for Soviet Jewry. He has also been a member of the Board of the Jerusalem Economic Corporation, the Secretary of the Jerusalem branch of the Histadrut Ovdim Le'umit (national workers' union) and editor of the Yoman Yisraeli newspaper.
From 1993 to 1996, Lieberman served as Director-General of the Likud movement, and then as Director-General of the Prime Minister's Office from 1996 to 1997, during Benjamin Netanyahu’s first tenure as premier.
In 1999, Lieberman founded and became head of Yisrael Beiteinu, and was elected to the Knesset for the first time, when his party won four seats. During his initial stint in the Knesset, Lieberman served as a member of the Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee and State Control Committee, and as Chairman of the Israel-Moldova Parliamentary Friendship League. In March of 2001, Lieberman was appointed Infrastructure Minister, but he resigned the post in March 2002. He was re-elected in January 2003 as part of a joint list with the far-right National Union, and received the transportation portfolio. In spring 2004 he was ousted from the cabinet by then-prime minister Ariel Sharon over his opposition to Sharon's plan to withdraw completely from Gaza.
In the 2006 national elections, Yisrael Beiteinu won 11 seats, and was initially in opposition. But after a few months, Lieberman and then-prime minister Ehud Olmert signed a coalition agreement under which Lieberman was appointed Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Strategic Affairs. The latter position was created specifically to focus on the Iranian regime and its nuclear aspirations. Even so, Lieberman once again left the government after disagreeing with Olmert’s “land-for-peace” policies vis-a-vis the Palestinians.
In the 2009 general elections, Yisrael Beiteinu continued its rise in prominence, winning 15 seats in parliament and becoming Israel’s third largest political party, behind Likud and Kadima, and ahead of the once powerful Labor. In March 2009, Lieberman was appointed deputy prime minister and minister of foreign affairs by Netanyahu. In 2016 he joined Netanyahu's government as defense minister.
Lieberman announced his resignation from his post as defense minister and his party's withdrawal from the ruling coalition toward the end of 2018, throwing the country in political turmoil potentially resulting in early elections. His resignation came in the wake of a cease-fire agreements with Hamas, that he opposed.
Lieberman’s policies throughout the years, especially regarding a future peace solution with the Palestinians, have been controversial, and some comments about Arab Knesset members have also gained him notoriety. He has rejected previous peace formulas, such as land for peace, and has advocated transferring the Israeli Arab population to a Palestinian state, also known as the “Populated-Area Exchange Plan.” Despite being seen by many - both domestically and internationally - as an obstacle to peace, Lieberman has stated that he supports the idea of a future Palestinian state in principle. He also stated his willingness to move his wife and three children from their home in the settlement of Nokdim should Israel withdraw from the West Bank.
Lieberman has been questioned over allegations of corruption, which he has denied, and has recently been linked to an investigation into a corrupt Jerusalem building project. He has been accused of racist attitudes toward Arabs and of intolerance toward religious Jews.
As negotiations with other party leaders stall, Gantz seeks consultation with the president, whose unity deal faces opposition within Kahol Lavan
Kahol Lavan leader met with Yisrael Beiteinu chairman in bid to end political deadlock, but no clear path to coalition emerges
Meeting between Gantz and kingmaker Avigdor Lieberman reported due to situation in Gaza, with one week to go before deadline to form government
Leader Arye Dery claims he can guarantee Netanyahu would uphold the agreement to leave the prime minister post lest Shas withdraw its support
Earlier, Gantz said he's open to compromise with Netanyahu ■ Kahol Lavan leader slated to meet with Lieberman on Tuesday
Six possible scenarios for Israel's next government
The wily kingmaker’s ultimatums stymie Gantz and Netanyahu – but could also inflame Jewish-Arab tensions
Netanyahu loyalists vow to never break the right-wing bloc ■ Joint List members say they refuse to topple Netanyahu at cost of nurturing Lieberman
This week could prove to be decisive for Israel's messy political minefield
Yisrael Beiteinu chairman says he would ask Kahol Lavan chief to allow Netanyahu to go first as PM in rotation agreement, and that the Likud leader dismantle his 55-seat right-wing bloc
It may spark controversy and even civil unrest but it will liberate Israeli democracy and rule of law from Netanyahu’s nefarious designs
While Netanyahu’s aides are accused of trolling and claim the police searched their phones illegally, the prime minister’s woes are becoming increasingly bizarre – both politically and legally
Yisrael Beiteinu argues that Likud's foot-dragging, lack of compromise are clear proof that the PM does not want to form a unity government
Earlier Thursday, Yisrael Beiteinu leader Avigdor Lieberman went after the Joint List, calling the alliance a 'fifth column' in a radio interview
Lieberman, who emerged kingmaker again after Israel's September election, charges that 'the Joint List doesn't represent the Arabs of Israel'
Netanyahu's rival and Kahol Lavan leader Benny Gantz has 28 days to try to form a governing coalition
Yisrael Beiteinu chairman says Netanyahu's party is 'already eulogizing' him, hours before president tasks Benny Gantz with establishing coalition
Benny Gantz's chances of forming a government in the coming 28 days are slim, perhaps even slimmer than those Netanyahu had
With deadline approaching, Likud sources not sure whether Netanyahu would drag things out until the last minute or return the mandate to president
Lieberman's Plan for Unity Government: Break Up Right-wing Bloc, Hold Rotation Between Netanyahu and Gantz
Kingmaker and Yisrael Beiteinu chairman offers negotiations between his party, Netanyahu's party and Kahol Lavan ■ Likud rejects proposal
Lieberman Implies Netanyahu Sent Investigators to Spy on Him, Calls Israel's Culture Minister 'Beast'
Kingmaker and Yisrael Beiteinu Chairman Lieberman also bashes FM Katz as 'pathetic liar' and says that Likud can 'go to hell' if they offer him rotation agreement
Israel Election Results: Netanyahu Considers Snap Primary to Dispel 'Rebellion Illusion'; Likud Rival: I'm Ready
Netanyahu says primaries are 'holding other party leaders back from joining a national unity government'