Kahlon: If I can't be Finance Minister, I'll go home

Finance Minister Kahlon says he believes party will receive 10 Knesset seats, won't give up finance portfolio.

Hezki Baruch,

Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon
Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon
Yonatan Sindel/Flash 90

Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon (Kulanu) on Friday spoke at a cultural event in Beit Shemesh, saying he expects his party to retain its strength and win 10 Knesset seats in the upcoming elections.

Regarding the charges against Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, Kahlon said, "The Prime Minister never said that he would retain his position after he was indicted. A prime minister cannot be in court in the morning and sit with the Cabinet at night."

Regarding the issue of whether cannabis should be legal or not, Kahlon emphasized that he is "advancing a law that would decriminalize it, in order to avoid harming young people's futures."

Legalization itself, he said, "requires an in-depth examination [of the issue], and is not something to announce just before elections."

Kahlon also noted that on the Thursday before the parties submitted their final lists of candidates, he was asked to join the Likud.

"I told them thank you very much, I want to be Finance Minister in the Kulanu party. I don't want to belong to Bibi (Netanyahu - ed.) or Gantz," he said. "I have a path and I can only implement it as a party head. If I don't get to be Finance Minister, I'll get on a bus and go home."

He also said that he "estimates that Kulanu will receive ten Knesset seats."

Recent polls have showed Kulanu to receive four or five seats, and some polls showed that it would not pass the electoral threshold.

Regarding Histadrut Chairman Avi Nissenkorn, who joined the Blue and White party, Kahlon said, "Sometimes I agreed with Nissenkorn and we worked together on social issues, and sometimes we disagreed. We've never had the same political outlook - I'm right and he's left. Therefore, I could never have had have any political agreements."

Responding to the recent rocket attacks, he said, "Israel's policy is smart, and it was decided together with the IDF and the Cabinet. I support the Prime Minister's policy, and it preserves the IDF's deterrence. I can tell you with certainty that there are no heroes sitting on the other side. Things are being discussed and I assume a decision will be made soon."

"I was against the Disengagement and I voted against it, unlike others. But if you left, then at least disconnect. You can't separate from Gaza and still remain married [to it]. That's not real disconnection and it was a mistake to leave. But if you left, then leave. I believe in complete disconnection, in every sense, and I believe it will happen within the next five years. That's my vision for the future of Israel and Gaza."