TribLIVE

| USWorld


 
Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

Israel's Netanyahu loses powerful ally to resignation

REUTERS
Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman speaks at conference for young members of his Yisrael Beiteinu party in Tel Aviv, in this December 13, 2012 file picture. Lieberman said on Friday he was resigning after being charged with fraud and breach of trust, in a move that could have repercussions on the upcoming general election. Picture taken December 13, 2012. REUTERS/Amir Cohen/Files (ISRAEL - Tags: POLITICS)

Email Newsletters

Click here to sign up for one of our email newsletters.

Daily Photo Galleries

By The Associated Press
Friday, Dec. 14, 2012, 6:54 p.m.
 

JERUSALEM — The resignation of powerful Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, Benjamin Netanyahu's top Cabinet partner, has shaken up Israeli politics a month before elections. Analysts said that Netanyahu is likely to survive but is losing a valued ally.

Lieberman announced his resignation Friday, a day after the attorney general filed an indictment for breach of trust in a fraud and money-laundering case.

He insisted “I did not break any law” and voiced confidence he would be cleared before the Jan. 22 election.

Lieberman's Yisrael Beitenu and Netanyahu's Likud Party recently joined forces in the parliamentary election, enabling the charismatic ultranationalist to position himself as Netanyahu's heir.

Opinion polls have predicted the list would be by far the largest bloc in Israel's parliament, the Knesset, and would lead a new coalition government. But without Lieberman's sway, negotiations for such a coalition among an array of fractious parties will be more complicated.

The blunt-talking politician, a native of Moldova, has amassed power with support from immigrants from the former Soviet Union and others drawn to his broadsides against Israeli Arabs, dovish groups, the Palestinians and Western Europe.

His resignation could mean that Netanyahu would be stuck with a list of leftovers.

Lieberman spokesman Tzachi Moshe said the minister is not resigning from the party list, meaning he is still running for parliament.

Avraham Diskin, a political scientist at Hebrew University, said that Netanyahu is likely to be re-elected and might make himself foreign minister too. But Lieberman's absence might push voters to parties even farther to the right.

Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.

 

 


Show commenting policy

Most-Read World

  1. Employees of Mercer County-based manufacturer among missing in Nepal
  2. Military draftees ignore Ukraine’s call to arms
  3. Nepal quake: More than 1,800 dead, history razed, Everest shaken
  4. Mexicans pin hopes on anti-corruption measures approved by Congress
  5. Deadly earthquake devastates Nepal, triggers Mount Everest avalanche
  6. Man who landed drone on Japanese PM’s office surrenders
  7. U.S.-backed rebels seize town, cut off land supply route to Assad forces in Syria
  8. Australians, Kiwis mark centenary of bloody battle
  9. Italy marks anniversary of its rebellion against fascism
  10. Senior officials are toppled in China’s anti-graft campaign
  11. Fighting, gasoline shortage intensify Yemen crisis