Finance Minister: I’ve no problem with Bennett at defense

Finance Minister Kahlon said Saturday that he has no problem with Naftali Bennett becoming minister of defense.

By World Israel News Staff

Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon said on Saturday that he doesn’t have a problem with Education Minister Naftali Bennett becoming minister of defense.

Kahlon wanted to deflect accusations that he was responsible for the Israeli government’s imminent collapse by opposing Bennett’s candidacy

“I did not place an ultimatum on Bennett’s appointment as defense minister,” he said in an interview with Channel 13’s Meet the Press.

On Friday, Netanyahu reportedly told Bennett, who heads the Jewish Home Party, that he couldn’t appoint him as defense minister because Kahlon opposed it.

Bennett and Kahlon reportedly spoke Saturday and agreed that if Netanyahu couldn’t find a solution to the present government crisis they would call for early elections on Wednesday.

Netanyahu will meet with Kahlon on Sunday evening in an effort to save his coalition. The prime minister opposes snap elections, which could take place as early as March.

At Sunday morning’s weekly Cabinet meeting, he warned, “In this sensitive security period, we don’t need to go to elections, and we know what happened when right-wing elements in a right-wing government led to the fall of the government like in 1992 and in 1999 that brought us the disaster of Oslo and the disaster of the Intifada,” he said.

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Kahlon has already made clear his preference to go to early elections.

Netanyahu appeared to lay the blame on Kahlon should the government fall. In a tweet Saturday, he said, “If the Kulanu faction won’t bring down the government — there’s a government. … All the members of the Likud faction are interested in continuing to serve the state another full year, until the end of the term in November 2019.”