'Bennett didn't give anything up - he didn't have anything'

Likud's MK Bitan says claims of what people 'gave up' need to be taken in proportion. 'You can't give up what you don't have.'

Yehonatan Gottlieb,

David Bitan
David Bitan
Esti Dazyobov, TPS

Likud MK David Bitan on Monday morning responded to former Education Minister Naftali Bennett's (New Right) decision to hand the top spot on his party's list to former Education Minister Ayelet Shaked.

"I don't understand why everyone is so excited about it, it's the expected move, considering the last elections," Bitan told Galatz. "I don't understand what it means, 'I gave it up.' You didn't get anything in the last elections, so what are you giving up Something you don't have? A person should give up what he does have, not what he doesn't have."

Bitan added, "It's like I hear about [Blue and White leaders MKs Yair] Lapid and [Benny] Gantz, who say, 'I gave up the premiership.' He didn't give up anything, because he's not prime minister. He's not even a minister and this issue of 'I gave it up for the sake of the country' needs to be taken in the correct proportions. There's no special compromise here, he understood reality and he acted in accordance with reality."

Regarding possible mergers among the parties to the right of the Likud, Bitan said he prefers two parties to the Likud's right, but if there is only one party, the solution will simply be that they will be able to urge people to vote for the Likud without worrying that one of the parties won't pass the electoral threshold.

"We need a strong party to the right of the Likud, so that we won't lose seats," he said. "The Likud prefers at least one party to its right, and it doesn't hurt. We need one Torani Religious Zionist party and one more liberal party, so that we don't lose a single vote for any of the parties."

"I think that it's better if we have two parties running to the right of the Likud," he emphasized. "I hope, and it seems to me according to the polls, that they will both pass the electoral threshold, and therefore it's better to have two, instead of one. But if they try to make one, we can't tell them what to do."

However, he added, "at the end of the day there is only a solution if there is one party: We can call on voters to vote for the Likud without worrying that a party will fail to pass the electoral threshold."

Regarding Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's intervention, Bitan said: "As it seems now, he won't need to intervene. No one is praising the Likud for his intervention or even for giving up one Likud seat for the sake of the merger, since one minute after the elections, we received [Transportation Minister Bezalel] Smotrich with a thousand demands, since they had seats."