Likud Minister Says Partners Just 'Flexing Muscles'

Minister Steinitz reprimands Jewish Home, other Coalition partners, over threats to leave the Coalition.

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Hezki Baruch,

Minister Yuval Steinitz
Minister Yuval Steinitz
Flash 90

Minister Yuval Steinitz (Likud-Beytenu), the Minister of Strategic and Intelligence Affairs, reprimanded Jewish Home leader Naftali Bennett and other Coalition partners Sunday, for their recent threats to leave the Coalition.

"This behavior, which involves making threats against the prime minister every Monday and Thursday, simply damages the state of Israel,” he said on the Knesset Channel ["Every Monday and Thursday” is a phrase that means “often,” and is taken from the Jewish custom of reading the Torah in synagogues on Monday and Thursday mornings].

"Everyone here is flexing his muscles, sometimes with the media's encouragement,” Steinitz complained. “If the prime minister shows a little toughness, then [Hatnua leader] Tzipi Livni and [Yesh Atid head] Yair Lapid threaten from this side, and when he shows some flexibility then suddenly Bennett is the one doing the threatening. You can't run a country this way.”

On Thursday, Bennett announced that the Jewish Home would leave the Coalition if terrorists with Israeli citizenship are released in a gesture toward the Palestinian Authority.

"Israel has been facing a new situation in recent days with the Palestinian appeal to the UN which flagrantly violated all the agreements with them since the Oslo Accords until today,” said Bennett.

“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,” he added.

"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.”