Israel’s Interior Minister calls for ‘national emergency government’ in time of corona

Interior Minister Arieh Deri is calling for Blue and White to join with Likud to establish a national emergency government.

By Aaron Sull, World Israel News

As the country remains in a political deadlock and the coronavirus epidemic is starting to spread throughout the country, Interior Minister Arieh Deri is calling for Blue and White to join with Likud to establish a national emergency government.

“A national emergency government must be set up because of the coronavirus,” Deri said during a Thursday interview with Army Radio.

“I warn Blue and White not to play games; if the Knesset Chairman is replaced and laws against Netanyahu are passed, it’ll be impossible to talk about a unity government,” he added.

Over the past year, which has seen three elections, Israel has been served by an interim government, which is limited in the actions it may take.

Deri is not the only one calling for an emergency government to combat the coronavirus threat.

Dozens of municipal authority leaders and mayors sent a “sharply worded letter” letter to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu calling for an emergency government, The Jerusalem Post reports.

“While the coronavirus epidemic is raging all over the world and also threatens Israeli citizens, it is time to abandon [the] cheap little politics that has been devastating our country for a year and establish a national emergency government,” the letter said, as quoted by the Post.

“Whether it is short-term or whether it achieves its goal and continues to [govern] even after the crisis is over. This is the order of the time!,” the letter declared.

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In 1999, the Association for Civil Rights in Israel tried unsuccessfully to abolish the state of emergency laws. At the time they petitioned the Supreme Court to abolish it based on the grounds that an emergency situation does not justify giving the government the power to override the rule of law.

The last time an emergency government was formed in Israel was prior to the Six-Day War.