After a wave of tumultuous responses to the dramatic news Monday that Yisrael Beytenu will not be joining Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's government as expected, chairman Avigdor Liberman issued his rejoinder.
Insisting he would not renege on the shocking announcement to sit in the opposition, Liberman went into more detail on why his party is refusing to join another coalition led by Likud.
"In 2009, I demanded the overthrow of Hamas, also during Operation Protective Edge and also after," the Foreign Minister said, in criticism of Netanyahu's policies regarding Gaza.
And then, "in the last week [of the operation], the Israeli media was flooded with news of how Hamas dug terror tunnels."
Liberman also attacked the Prime Minister for not looking to promote the Jewish State Law, promised to pass in the previous Knesset. In addition, Liberman expressed anger at Netanyahu's readiness to retract the Conversion and Enlistment Laws in his deal with haredi party United Torah Judaism.
"My word is my word, not just a slogan but a way of life," Liberman charged.
"I will not give up even if it means I will pay an electoral price. Some of my closest friends and even my children said to me, 'Dad, don't do it, it's better to be in the government," Liberman relayed as means of his dedication to the risky decision.
Arguing that his decision was not based on opposition to any party, particularly UTJ, Liberman acknowledged that "if the NIS 5 billion going to the haredim was for vocational training, studies, and job creation, we'd have something to talk about."
"In the 19th Knesset," Liberman continued, "we achieved new laws creating regional authority for weddings, conversion, equality of the burden, the Governance Law limiting the Cabinet to 18 ministers. Suddenly we need to cancel all that?"
"That says to the public that they need to tighten their seat belts because budgets are lacking funds," the Foreign Minister fumed. 'Who dragged the country into election after a year and 10 months? It was Prime Minister Netanyahu, who had a stable government."
Refuting reports from Likud officials that he was involved in a putsch to topple Netanyahu during the previous government, Liberman maintained that his relationship with the Prime Minister has always been above board.
Still, that didn't stop him from continuing his tirade against Netanyahu Monday night.
"The national camp that doesn't build in Jerusalem and the settlement blocs is the national camp? To transfer money to the Palestinians is the national camp," Liberman said angrily.