'Only Peace Talks Less Credible Than Bennett's Threats'
MK Zehava Galon, Chairwoman of the far-left Meretz party, responded Friday morning to Jewish Home Chairman Naftali Bennett's threats to leave the government if Arab citizens of Israel were included in a proposed terrorist release deal.
"There's only one thing less credible that Bennett's threats of leaving the government over the peace talks - and that's the peace talks themselves," remarked Galon.
Galon called on members of the coalition to save citizens from the "wandering circus" of threats to leave the coalition. "Let them call us at the point that they've finally decided to seriously address the future of the country."
Bennett in February similarly threatened to quit depending on the progress of peace talks. Likewise in January he threatened to leave if a framework plan of Israeli withdrawals was adopted, a week after MK Shuli Muallem-Refaeli of his party warned such withdrawals were a "red line." Former MK Michael Ben-Ari criticized the statement, arguing those who stay in government that frees terrorists "will not leave the government, even when they expel and uproot Jews."
"They want to leave - let them leave"
Adding to Galon's criticism of Bennett's threats was MK Elazar Stern (Hatnua), who said "in my eyes, there's no threat in it. They want to leave - let them leave."
"Unfortunately, the Jewish Home party didn't contribute at all in defending the state of Israel as a Jewish and democratic state. The opposite is true, they only damaged, in the aspect of the state's Jewish identity and in the demographic need to keep a Jewish majority," claimed Stern.
Bennett stated on Thursday that "the emerging deal, if it includes the release of murderers with Israeli citizenship, harms Israeli sovereignty, and not only that - it is done being when the Palestinians have not cancelled their requests to join international organizations."
"Therefore, if a proposal for release of Israeli murderers comes before the Cabinet, the Jewish Home will oppose it,” Bennett declared. “If the proposal will pass - the Jewish Home will resign from the government, which frees murderers with Israeli citizenship. Enough is enough."
The Likud shrugged off the threats, with officials saying "we are not keeping anybody in the government by force. This is a well-known method used by Bennett: to make threats when it is clear to him that they are false threats that will not come to fruition."