Saturday, May 23
Latest News
  1. Commanders: Iraq forces attack IS east of Ramadi
  2. Leading 'No' figure concedes in Irish gay marriage vote
  3. Saudi-led coalition pounds Yemen rebels in three cities
  4. Police: 3 killed by two grenades in Burundi capital
  5. Official: 39 dead in Mexico clash between police, armed civilians
  6. US Senate approves fast-track trade authority for Obama
  7. Senate blocks bill that would end US bulk data dragnet
  8. Official: Turkey arrests French citizen bound for Syria
  9. Priest 'kidnapped in Homs' region of Syria
  10. Saudi-led coalition pounds Yemen rebels in three cities
  11. Over 55,000 have fled IS-captured Ramadi since mid-May
  12. President: death toll in anti-FARC air strike in Colombia rises to 26
  13. Dutch cabinet backs partial Islamic burqa ban
  14. Iran: Nuclear talks to resume Tuesday in Vienna
  15. UK's Cameron says 'confident' of securing EU reform deal
  16. Huge blasts outside Sanaa after coalition air raids
  17. Monitor: Rebels seize hospital holding 150 Syrian soldiers
  18. Blast hits Shiite mosque in eastern Saudi
  19. US envoy urges Myanmar Rohingya 'citizenship' to end exodus
  20. UN: 300-400 new cholera cases per day among Burundians in Tanzania

Netanyahu rival moots center-left election alliance

Jan. 5, 2013 3:33 P.M. (Updated: Jan. 6, 2013 5:11 P.M.)
By: Dan Williams
JERUSALEM (Reuters) -- Israel's main center-left parties may join forces against conservative Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in the Jan. 22 election that he is currently forecast to win easily, one of the challengers said on Saturday.

Former foreign minister Tzipi Livni, head of the centrist Hatenuah party, said on Twitter that she would meet counterparts from the kindred Yesh Atid and left-leaning Labor "to discuss the creation of a 'united front' to work together to replace Netanyahu".

Opinion polls see the three parties taking around 37 of parliament's 120 seats in the vote - collectively, enough to best the some 35 projected for Netanyahu's joint rightist list and, potentially, to form the next Israeli coalition government.

Netanyahu is a two-term premier who takes credit for the relative stability of the Israeli economy and appeals to Israel's burgeoning religious-nationalist sectors by championing the settlement of occupied land. He has sounded hawkish on the Palestinians and Iran but avoided big conflicts.

Israel's festering international isolation has been seized on by Livni, who as top diplomat in the former government pursued inconclusive talks on founding a Palestinian state.

The leaders of Yesh Atid and Labour, Yair Lapid and Shelly Yachimovich, are new to politics and known to much of the public from their former jobs as television commentators. Their campaigns have focused largely on social reform.

Any alliance of the Netanyahu challengers would likely require that they agree power-shares and policies in advance.

Yachimovich said this week she intended either to be the next prime minister or to sit in opposition, and that Labor would not join a Netanyahu-led government. Livni and Lapid have yet to do the same.

"A unified move by ... all those who seek to change the government will be real and meaningful only if such parties act as we did," Yachimovich said in a statement confirming that she had agreed to meet Livni.

By collectively ruling out a future coalition partnership with Netanyahu, Yachimovich said, challengers could "plant enormous hope in the heart of the public ... and bring about grassroots mobilization for a determined and spirited struggle".

Lapid played down his scheduled meeting with Livni, telling Reuters that he would go at her invitation "because I'm a polite man". He said he had not agreed to discuss uniting the parties.

The Netanyahu government was unfazed by Livni's initiative.

"I wish that the other side, to the left, would coalesce, because that would hone the differences between us," Vice Prime Minister Moshe Yaalon of the ruling Likud said in a speech.

In an apparent dig at Lapid and Yachimovich, Yaalon rued "the immodesty and immaturity in the desire of certain people to jump straight into the cold water of being prime minister, without passing through any stations along the way".
Powered By: HTD Technologies
Ma'an News Agency
All rights reserved © 2005-2015