Ultra-orthodox knesset members debate gov’t responsibility for hostages

MK Goldknopf: ‘One day after the war, the government should fall? What does the government have to do with the war?’

By Vered Weiss, World Israel News

Chairman of the Finance Committee MK Moshe Gafni, who leads the Degel Hatorah faction of United Torah Judaism, was critical of remarks made by Housing Minister Yitzhak Goldknopf regarding the government and the war with Hamas.

Goldknopf, who heads United Torah Judaism’s Agudat Yisrael faction, dismissed threats by government ministers such as MK Ben Gvir that they would resign from the government if Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made deep concessions for a hostage release deal.

Goldknopf said, “I don’t see anyone resigning from the government,” and pointed out accomplishments of the current government, including the recent passing of the budget.

Moshe Gafni took exception to Goldknopf’s remarks and said, “We all bear responsibility, even today.”

He added, “Whoever says the situation is good — the situation is not good! I, like my colleagues in the government, bear responsibility.”

Gafni added that the government should be occupied day and night with finding ways to free the hostages still in Gaza.

In addition, he criticized government ministers who recommended resettling Gaza.

Speaking at a ceremony celebrating the opening of an educational institution in the northern town of Karmiel, Gafni said, “I don’t think at all that we should go to settle in Gaza. We should build here in the Galilee, in Karmiel.”

Goldknopf attended the rally attended by other government ministers and 5,000 others in Jerusalem calling for the resettlement of Gaza after the war.

Goldknopf’s remarks which sparked criticism from Gafni were in response to a Kikar HaShabbat journalist asking him if he thought ministers would resign from the government over disagreement concerning a potential hostage deal.

“I don’t see anyone resigning, who is it bad for?  There are 64 [Knesset] members, there are government ministries, everything is working and there is an organized budget,” Goldknopf said.

“One day after the war, the government should fall? What does the government have to do with the war?” he added.

Goldknopf introduced the subject of whether the government should be blamed for lack of preparedness for the October 7th attack.
“Now there is a question of who is responsible, they have been thinking about it for a long time,” he said.

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Goldknopf concluded that responsibility for the missteps that led to October 7th would be determined by an investigative committee “that will finish its work in 2028, maybe 2027.”