The leaders of Kulanu and Yisrael Beiteinu both said their parties would not join a government led by Avi Gabbay, the head of Labor, despite recent polls that showed Gabbay on the rise.

Avi Gabbay

Avi Gabbay Photo credit: Miriam Alster, Flash 90/Channel 2 News

After recent polls showed a significant rise in support for the Zionist Union led by Avi Gabbay, the leaders of two Knesset parties said Saturday they would not be part of a government with Gabbay as Prime Minister.

Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon, the leader of the Kulanu party, said in an interview with Channel 2 News his party “will not be a fig leaf in a left-wing government.”

He added that he is “disappointed” in Gabbay for leaving Kulanu to run for the head of Labor, but insisted that his decision stems from ideological differences rather than personal grudge.

In a seemingly-coordinated move, Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman said his Yisrael Beiteinu party will not join a government led by Gabbay either. He called Gabbay “irrelevant” and said no coalition can be formed without Kulanu and Yisrael Beiteinu.