Kadima to join Israeli gov't if Lieberman resigns: experts

Kadima to join Israeli gov't if Lieberman resigns: experts

Azerbaijan, Baku, July 16 / Trend , U.Sadikhova/

Although accusations against the Israeli Foreign Minister of corruption could cause a crisis in the country, this will not lead to the dissolution of Benyamin Netanyahu's coalition government, because the opposition Kadima party may enter the government.

"If the charges against Lieberman [of corruption] are proved, the opposition Kadima party will enter the government," the Head of the Israeli Center for Strategic Studies Begin-Sadat (BESA), Efraim Inbar told Trend in a telephone conversation. "Therefore, the governmental crisis is unreal."

On Tuesday, the Israeli police had completed investigation into money laundering, fraud and using someone else's trust for personal purposes, of which Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman is accused. The investigation against Lieberman was held for 12 years, but the police said that the necessary evidence had been collected, and if they are proven, the case will be passed to the Prosecutor's Office next week, the Israeli Haaretz newspaper reported.

Lieberman's Party "Our House Israel" (OHI) took 15 seats in the coalition government of Netanyahu, head of the Likud party.

If the charges against him are proved, then Lieberman will leave a foreign minister position and his party may leave the government, as well.

However, Israeli experts do not believe that this will lead to the resignation of Netanyahu's cabinet, despite the party's quit from the coalition government.

The Israeli government is based on the coalition parties, and the cabinet should be dissolved in case of withdrawal of one of them.

Experts believe if Lieberman resigns, Kadima will enter the Netanyahu government by maintaining the unity of the coalition.

In spring, after instructing Netanyahu to form a cabinet, the leader of Kadima, former Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni refused to join the government and instead of them, Laborites Avoda Party led by Defense Minister Ehud Barak joined the government.

Eitan Gilboa, a former adviser in the office of Israeli Prime Minister, believes that the government is out of danger because of accusing Lieberman of corruption.

"Even if he [Lieberman] leaves the government, Kadima will join it," Former Diplomatic Advisor in the office of the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Defense, Gilboa told Trend in a telephone conversation. "The Israeli government has always another party which will replace the other".

He said the foreign minister can resign, if his guilt is proven, which would not affect the foreign policy of Israel.

Lieberman, unlike its predecessors, is known with his rigid stance in the peace negotiations with the Palestinians. In April, the day after his appointment as the foreign minister, Lieberman refused from the Arab peace initiative and the Annapolis peace process, envisaging establishment of an independent Palestinian state.

He was also the initiator of continuing construction of the Jewish settlements in the West Bank, because of what the Palestinian Authority refused to continue a peace dialogue.

The European Union and the United States opposed the position of Israel, particularly the foreign minister.

Gilboa said the problem also concerns Lieberman's policy, because many foreign ministers of other countries refuse to work with him.

"It is not yet clear how much the prime minister trusts him," said Gilboa. "Therefore, his resignation would not entail a government crisis."

Israeli Analyst Shmuel Sandler also beleives that the Kadima, which has a flexible position, can replace Lieberman in the government.

"If the accusations [against Lieberman] are proved, his resignation could cause a crisis, but it should be mentioned that the coalition government parties can replace each other," Professor of the Israeli policy of the Faculty of Political Sciences of Bar-Ilan University, Sandler told Trend in a telephone conversation.

Inbar believes that only after proving Lieberman's charge, an Israeli Cabinet should reconsider its composition - the post of Minister of Tourism, the national infrastructure, and immigration and the deputy minister of internal security.

This week the Israeli Chief Prosecutor Menachem Mazuz will discuss with the investigators additional steps in the investigation. At present, Lieberman is charged with establishing a company, which does not include assets to money laundering, Haaretz reported.

The police also revealed that Lieberman continued to do so even after being the minister, but a source of the money is still.

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