Justice Minister: Yes, ultimatum to Netanyahu was mistake

Israel’s Justice Minister admitted the Jewish Home Party shouldn’t have issued an ultimatum to Prime Minister Netanyahu.

By World Israel News

Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked admitted that the decision of the Jewish Home Party to issue an ultimatum to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu last week was a mistake, in an interview Thursday with Ynet news.

“We considered resigning, but in the end we decided to forgo our honor and continue. We lost this round,” she told Ynet, suggesting that an ultimatum wouldn’t have been their first preference but, “From our history with Netanyahu, we see that unfortunately, only through such means can we achieve our goals.”

“It’s possible we shouldn’t have given him a public ultimatum, we may have made mistakes, but we only learn; there are political rounds that we lose,” she said.

Shaked referred to her party’s demand, passed by a unanimous vote on Nov. 14, that the prime minister hand over the ministry of defense to Jewish Home Chairman Naftali Bennett, who currently serves in the government as education minister. If Netanyahu didn’t comply, the party would leave the coalition, forcing early elections.

Netanyahu didn’t cave, despite early reports indicating he would, and Bennett blinked first.

Earlier this week, on Monday, Bennett, with Shaked by his side, announced the Jewish Home party would not be leaving the government and retracted its ultimatum.

Netanyahu announced shortly after that he would take on the defense minister post himself.

However, Shaked told Ynet that she doesn’t agree with the prime minister’s decision. “The prime minister’s act of holding the defense portfolio isn’t right,” she said. “The State of Israel needs a full-time defense minister.”

“A prime minister who holds a lot of portfolios and also does a minister’s job [means] in the end the one running the ministries is the clerk, and that shouldn’t be the case. Naftali Bennett is the most suited to the role,” Shaked said.