Why, why, why would Bibi overpay?the most left-leaning person in his own coalition.
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu is prepared to make a substantial offer to bring the Tzipi Livni Party into his coalition as a senior partner if negotiations with Yair Lapid's Yesh Atid do not bear fruit, senior Likud sources said following talks with Livni's associates on Monday.
The talk of overpaying Livni to enter the coalition despite her faction having only six MKs came after Yesh Atid issued demands that Likud officials called unrealistic. Likud sources said a likely scenario would be a 69-MK coalition with the Tzipi Livni Party, Kadima, Bayit Yehudi, Shas, and United Torah Judaism. A Likud MK suggested that "it might be better to have Livni on her knees than Lapid on a horse." The MK said Lapid might speak more modestly and lower his price after "a year of drought in the desert of the opposition." Channel 2 reported Monday night that Netanyahu and his no. 2 on the joint Likud Yisrael Beytenu list Avigdor Liberman had maintained a direct connection with Livni since the January 22 election. The report said Netanyahu's recent statements on diplomatic issues were aimed at enticing Livni into the coalition.
An official response by Livni's spokeswoman called the report "rumors and political spin" and said there were direct connections since the election with leaders of many parties, not just Netanyahu. Livni's associates expressed concern that Netanyahu might have leaked the report in order to use Livni to lower the price of Lapid.
"For Tzipi, what matters is the essence of whether she will be given true freedom to advance the diplomatic process," a source close to her said.
"She has one issue, unlike Lapid who has many, but she won't join the government unless she deems Netanyahu's intentions on the peace process to be truly genuine. It's too soon to say concretely that Netanyahu is more serious than before. Maytbe it's just camouflage and pyrotechnics."Wouldn't it be funny if Netanyahu ended up with a coalition consisting of Likud-Beiteinu, Jewish Home, Shas and United Torah Judaism? That would be 61 MK's....