CBNNews.com - JERUSALEM, Israel - Yossi Beilin, chairman of the ultra-left-wing Meretz party, dismissed speculation of joining the government.
Responding to Wednesday's announcement by Yisrael Beiteinu chairman Avigdor Lieberman's decision to leave the government, Beilin told reporters Meretz can be more effective outside the Olmert coalition.
"It is easier for both parties not to marry," he said. "We will support the government, but it will be very difficult for us to join the government," he said, citing the Second Lebanon War as one example.
Member of Knesset (MK) and Meretz colleague Zahava Gal-On called on Olmert to resign, following the publication of the Winograd Commission's interim report on April 30, on the government's handling of the 2006 war with Lebanese-based Hezbollah terrorists.
Beilin said Meretz does not want early elections since it was highly likely that Likud would be elected, which would alter the course being pursued by the present government at the behest of the Bush administration.
According to Beilin, Meretz and the Israeli Arab parties could keep the Olmert government afloat with a 70-seat majority should Shas, the only right-wing party remaining in the coalition, decide to leave.
Meanwhile, MK Benny Elon (National Union/National Religious Party) said the prime minister and other government leaders who think they're negotiating a peace process with the Palestinian Authority are moving the country into an increasingly dangerous place.
"They [Israeli negotiators] did not bring peace, but violence, violence and more violence," Elon told reporters.
"We did not make a mistake when we tried to make peace, but we make a mistake when we don't want to learn from our mistakes," he said.
Elon proposed an alternate peace plan that he believes would provide genuine hope for the Palestinian people.
Source: The Jerusalem Post