Yisrael Beiteinu party leader Avigdor Lieberman slammed Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his Likud Party for putting the onus on him for the dissolution of the Knesset and new national elections.
Early Thursday morning, following the Knesset vote to disperse the 51-day-old 20th Knesset and go to new elections, Netanyahu slammed Lieberman to reporters after exiting the Knesset plenum.
“Avigdor Lieberman is now part of the left. He brings down right-wing governments. Don’t believe him again. I will tell you about it tomorrow. Maybe I will tell you some things you don’t know. He deceived the electorate just to get votes,” Netanyahu charged.
Earlier Lieberman pinned the blame for the new elections squarely on Netanyahu and his Likud Party.
“Unfortunately, Israel is going to repeat elections because of the refusal of the Likud and the ultra-Orthodox parties to accept our proposal and to vote on the draft law in second and third readings in the original version,” Lieberman said. “This is a surrender to the ultra-Orthodox. We are part of a right-wing government, but we will not be part of a halachic government.”
At a news conference on Thursday morning, Lieberman increased the rhetoric, suggesting that it is Netanyahu who is the leftist.
“The man from Caesarea is calling the man from (the West Bank settlement of) Nokdim a leftist,” Lieberman said.
“I want to remind the prime minister that it was him who voted for the disengagement from Gaza, apologised to the (Turkish) dictator Erdogan and refused the death penalty and the evacuation of Khan El-Ahmar, and in response to 700 rockets transferred $30 million to Hamas,” he said.
Lieberman also suggested that Netanyahu’s son Yair requires the services of a psychiatrist after he tweeted early Thursday morning that Netanyahu chose an attorney general in 2009 based on his willingness to exonerate Lieberman in criminal cases against him.
Lieberman asserted that he would not nominate Blue and White Party head Benny Gantz to form the next government and suggested that he would not recommend Netanyahu either.