Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Center-Left Leaders Trade Last Minute Barbs at Each Other Over Livni Recrution

Tzipi Livni on Wednesday slammed the Labor Party and chairwoman Shelly Yecimovich for employing "political spin" and trying to negotiate a merger with her party in the media.

Livni stated that the only way to negotiate was face-to-face and the only person who could successfully lead a Center bloc against Prime Minster Benjamin Netanyahu was she herself, rather than using her as "a free agent" for electoral purposes.

Yecimovich told Channel 10 Wednesday that her offer to Livni to join the party still stands. "Twenty-four hours are left to submit candidate lists. As far as I'm concerned, until the last minute Livni can respond to my offer and join us," Yecimovich said. 

Sources close to Livni said Wednesday that Labor was lying. “It is just the opposite,” the sources told reporters. “In all the discussions we have had so far it is Labor that has resisted the idea of a joint list, but rather they are trying to recruit Tzipi Livni to join Labor in order to take advantage of her electoral strength. If Labor Party head Shelly Yechimovich is interested in making a deal, there is only one honorable way to make one – through direct discussions.”

"Everyone is talking to everyone but nothing is concrete,” a Livni adviser said. “Tzipi said all options for enlarging the bloc and giving a fight to Likud are still on the table."

The only one that gave up on Livni was Yair Lapid, who already submitted his list to the Knesset's election committee more than 24 hours before the deadline. “In the past few days we have seen the self-destruction of the reputation of Tzipi Livni,” Lapid said in an interview on Army Radio.

“A person who steals Knesset members and party funding after losing in that party's primaries, which were open and fair, is just dishonest. Something is going on that I do not understand. I cannot fathom why Livni was opposed to a united center-left list, but at this point, I wouldn't join a list with her," he added.