Nir Orbach, a lawmaker in Bennett’s own party, is threatening to follow Idit Silman’s move and quit the coalition if his demands aren’t met.
By World Israel News Staff
MK Nir Orbach of the Yamina party has threatened to follow the example of Idit Silman and leave the government if three demands are not met.
“Unfortunately, I won’t be able to support harming the Jewish character of the State of Israel and the Jewish people,” Silman, the former coalition whip and Yamina MK, said when she caught Prime Minister Naftali Bennett — and the country — by surprise in her unexpected announcement.
The move critically wounded the shaky coalition, which had only 61 MKs in the 120-seat Knesset and is now tied with the opposition. If just one MK follows suit, the government will fall.
On Thursday, Orbach issued his ultimatum, demanding the government backtrack on its plan to cancel daycare subsidies for yeshiva students; the convening of the planning commission to approve building plans for 4,000 new homes in Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria; and connecting Jewish settlements in Judea and Samaria to Israel’s electricity grid.
“Without a solution to these issues, I will not be able to remain in the coalition,” Orbach said in a statement.
During a faction meeting held Wednesday, he attacked Bennett for using the phrase “West Bank” last week when referring to the region of Judea and Samaria in conversation with U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken. Although Silman didn’t bring up that point when she defected, many in the right-wing camp, including in Bennett’s right-wing party, were furious, with some expressing hope that the government would fall.
“Such an expression is another deterioration of the government’s values,” said Yigal Dilmoni, director-general of the Yesha Council, an umbrella organization for councils and organizations from Judea and Samaria — which Bennett once headed.
“It is added to the freeze of construction [in Judea and Samaria] and the turning of its back on the Israeli communities. Such a government must go home,” Dilmoni demanded.