The former justice minister accused Netanyahu of abandoning his right-wing partners and said they won’t be a “fifth wheel” in the new government, unable to advance their party’s agenda.
By Paul Shindman, World Israel News
The right-wing Yemina Party on Monday accused Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of selling out his former coalition partners and said it was not interested in being Netanyahu’s spare tire.
Former justice minister Ayelet Shaked said Netanyahu had stuck with the ultra-Orthodox parties, but had replaced Yemina with opposition leader Benny Gantz’s Blue and White Party in the proposed national unity government.
Shaked said it was a pity that Netanyahu’s Likud Party “does not respect the religious Zionism” of the Yemina Party the same way he has continued his relationship with the ultra-Orthodox Shas and United Torah Judaism parties.
In an interview with the ultra-Orthodox news website Kikar HaShabbat, Shaked said that although Yemina leader Naftali Bennett had held a meeting with Netanyahu last week, there were no ongoing negotiations for Yemina to join the coalition government.
“There has been no progress since. If we do not receive the ability to influence things that are important to us, we will not be in the coalition,” Shaked told Kikar HaShabbat.
Shaked said Netanyahu had given several cabinet positions previously held by her party members to Blue and White.
“In the reality test, you see that all the offices and roles that are important to the ultra-Orthodox partnership have remained, and everything that is important to religious Zionism is almost all [given to] Blue and White” Shaked said.
Skaed noted that while her party formerly handled regulation of Bedouin settlements in Israel’s south, “even this [portfolio was] given to the most extreme left in the government – to [Labor Party leader] Amir Peretz.”
Yemina is a right-wing coalition of the New Right, Jewish Home and Tkuma. Shaked and Bennett founded New Right at the end of 2018, but failed to gain any seats in the Knesset in the April 2019 elections. For subsequent elections they joined with Jewish Home and Tkuma, gaining six seats in the March 2 vote.While Bennett is currently serving as defense minister, that position is rumored to be going to Blue and White member Gabi Ashkenazi, a former IDF chief-of-staff.
In a press conference Shaked held on Facebook earlier Monday, she said Yemina wasn’t leaving Netanyahu’s alignment of right-wing parties that ran the country until December, 2018.
“We are not leaving Netanyahu’s right-wing bloc, but he might break away from us,” Shaked said, saying if left out of the government, they would fight aggressively from the opposition.
“We don’t want to be a fifth wheel in the government.”
Shaked did not discuss the corona crisis or the economic and health problems facing the unity government, but opined that unity governments in general experience paralysis because everybody vetoes each other, instead of negotiating compromises.
“We want to know that in a unity government there will be a place for us to implement part of the ideology that is important to us,” Shaked added.