Economy Minister Naftali Bennett (Bayit Yehudi) denied that his party had torpedoed former Minister Moshe Kahlon’s appointment to head the Israel Lands Administration, as was promised by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu just two days before the election.
Netanyahu said last week that Kahlon would not be appointed to the position after all, claiming that the make-up of the coalition does not allow him to go through with his election promise, and hinting that an objection to the appointment by the Bayit Yehudi and Yesh Atid parties was at fault.
Bennett, however, told Channel 2 News in an interview which aired Saturday night, "According to the coalition agreement Kahlon is entitled to be appointed to this position. We will not stop such a thing from happening and we did not torpedo anything. I think Kahlon is a great person. Ask Moshe Kahlon and the Prime Minister what happened. It’s none of my business and we have not talked about this issue."
In the interview, Bennett also addressed his relations with Netanyahu, particularly in light of the fact that Netanyahu recently traveled to China to promote trade with the country, but failed to take along Bennett, who is the minister in charge of trade relations.
It was hinted that Netanyahu did not bring Bennett on the trip because his wife, Sarah, had come along and she has been reported to have extremely strained relations with Bennett, since the days when he served a Netanyahu's chief of staff.
"We need to get off this story,” Bennett told Channel 2. “If there is any criticism on this subject it should be addressed to Netanyahu. Who cares? All I am interested in is a strong economy - and that is what interests the entire people of Israel,” he added.
"We are all adults and are engaged in Israel’s interests. I work well with the Prime Minister, he conducts himself in a responsible and appropriate manner and we will do a lot of good to the people of Israel in the coming years," said Bennett.