Likud MK Ofir Akunis praised the decision of Yamina MK Idit Silman to bolt the coalition, which she accused of “harming the Jewish character of the State of Israel and the Jewish people.”
With the government losing its slim seat majority without Silman, casting its future in doubt, Akunis tells Israel National News that he believes the coalition cannot feasibly continue.
“I think that this is the last day of the current coalition, this is the last day of the current government,” Akunis says.
“I don’t know if we’ll find ourselves in new elections or in a new coalition in the current Knesset but this is the last days.”
- To create a new government, the opposition would need to form a coalition from the current members of the Knesset, which Akunis describes as “not so easy.”
“But in Israeli politics, you can never say never,” he says.
Akunis comments that Silman’s decision to leave the coalition was courageous.
“She’s a very brave woman. This is a huge problem here, i’m talking about the policy, about the Jewish ideas, let’s say the Orthodox ideas. With the current coalition members… she said to herself that she can not live anymore with the policy. I’m not talking about only the two-state solution… [but also] about Jewish identity issues.”
Akunis noted that with the government coalition now having only 60 seats, the same as the opposition, the coalition can’t pass any new proposed laws in the upcoming summer session.
He also criticized Minister of Defense Benny Gantz for preferring to join the current government.
“Mr. Gantz missed this opportunity in November,” he says. “During the days of the end of October, I said that i if he wants to he will be the next prime minister until the end of November. He said ‘No’ and he preferred to be part of the current government. So I don’t think that [the next prime minister] will be Benny Gantz and I don’t think that it will be [Minister of Justice] Gideon Sa’ar. But you must remember that Israeli politics is very interesting, much more than other parliaments around the world, because we are Jewish, because we are Israelis, because it’s with a lot of hutzpah. So if he will change his mind, this is very interesting.”
If they want to form a new coalition without heading to elections, they will have to cooperate with the parties of the right who are currently in the coalition, such as Yamina and New Hope (Tikva Hadasha).
“This is a very important step. The government cannot go further with [new proposed legislation] that we declared that we will vote against. This is the first step,” Akunis explains.
He adds that if a new coalition cannot be formed, then a newly elected government is essential for the safety and security of the country.
“It’s very important because Israel is in danger. You heard [U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken], you know about the Vienna summit and the Vienna agreement [the new nuclear agreement with Iran] and you heard about the [comments by Blinken against] building in Judea and Samaria. This is a huge danger for us, for all the lovers of the Land of Israel. As you know I am one of them.”
Source: Arutz Sheva
Header: COVID-19 patient Rahamim Havura votes for Israel’s parliamentary election inside an intensive care ward for coronavirus patients at Ichilov Hospital in Tel Aviv, Israel, Tuesday, March. 23, 2021. Israel is holding its fourth election in less than two years. (AP Photo/Oded Balilty)