Yachimovich: If Labor wins 25 seats, I form government

The Labor leader says Netanyahu is very weak and can be beaten.

"It is possible to replace Netanyahu. He is very weak," said Labor Party chairwoman MK Shelly Yachimovich at an event in Modi'in this morning. She added that if the Labor Party wins 25 Knesset seats in the elections, President Shimon Peres would task it with establishing a government.

"It's very hard and the chances are not great, but they definitely exist," said Yachimovich. "Benjamin Netanyahu is weaker than ever, and after you peel Liberman from the Likud, it will win no more than 21 Knesset seats."

Yachimovich added, "Tzipi Livni made a serious mistake when she refused for a long time to join forces with me. I made her a very generous and respectable offer, and I now call on her to announce, like I have, that I won't sit in a government, recognize that the public does not believe in Hatnua, and declare that she recommends me as prime minister."

Commenting on the peace process, Yachimovich said that Labor was the only party with a clear and detailed peace offer. "We didn’t do this for the elections," she said, "but in the belief and with more than a year of thorough work. We're the party that supports peace, believes in the two-state solution, adopted the Clinton format, and committed to opening negotiations immediately after we establish the government. We've promised this and we will keep it, in contrast to those who spoke about peace but when they sat in key positions, did nothing."

Livni: A diplomatic volcano will erupt in March

At an event in Jerusalem, Hatnua chairwoman Tzipi Livni said, "In March, the world will put a peace plan on the table, or it will impose a plan on us, or we'll initiate our own plan. If we offer an Israeli plan, we can renew the alliance with the moderates in the region, and better deal with the radical front. The US resolution on Palestine was only the start, and the Israeli people should realize that we're stilling on a volcano that will erupt in March." She added that she would not sit in a government in which Jewish Home chairman Naftali Bennett sets policy.

Lapid: The middle class is Netanyahu's ATM

At an event in Bat Yam today, Yesh Atid chairman Yair Lapid said, "It's unacceptable that the Israeli middle class will continue to be Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's only ATM." He called for an equitable sharing of the burden.

Lapid said, "The middle class isn't a sector; it's the majority. We're the only country in the world in which the majority feels as if it's the minority. I won't let taxes be raised further on the middle class, which already cannot make ends meet. The country should first of all help those who help themselves, the public that contributes the most to the State of Israel."

Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on January 13, 2013

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2013

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