'Left-wing government with the Arabs? Not a bad idea at all'

Transportation Minister Bezalel Smotrich suggests Gantz-led left-wing government with Arabs would only result in rightist victory.

Hezki Baruch,

Bezalel Smotrich
Bezalel Smotrich
Arutz Sheva

Transportation Minister and National Union chairman Bezalel Smotrich (Jewish Home-National Union) pushed back on warnings by right-wing leaders Wednesday against the possibility of Blue and White chief Benny Gantz forming a narrow left-wing government with the support of the predominantly Arab Joint List party.

In a Twitter post Wednesday, Smotrich suggested that a left-wing – Arab coalition government would be a blessing in disguise for the Israeli Right.

Smotrich arguing that such a government, which would rely on the support of both the Arab Joint List party and secular rightist Yisrael Beytenu, would be incapable of surviving very long, and would likely lead to a backlash that could propel the Right back into power.

“I don’t understand my friends who are trying to force Liberman into promising not to pave the way for a narrow government of the Left and the Arabs,” tweeted Smotrich, referring to Yisrael Beytenu chief Avidgor Liberman.

Such a government, Smotrich continued, “wouldn’t be a bad idea at all.”

“A government like that wouldn’t last very long, and afterwards, the Right would have a huge victory in the next elections. Within a few months, there will be a right-wing government representing the right-wing majority in Israeli society.”

“This desire by a clear majority [of Israelis for a right-wing government] was distorted in the last two elections by Liberman’s deceiving the public and his own jealousy of Netanyahu.”

If Liberman helps enable the formation of a narrow left-wing government supported by Arab lawmakers, Smotrich added, “it would reveal Liberman’s true face, showing him to be deep on the Left.”

Earlier on Wednesday, MK Naftali Bennett (New Right) warned against the formation of a minority government supported by the Joint List.

“This dark trick of establishing a minority government, which would rely on votes from the anti-Zionist Joint List and tacit support of Liberman’s party is an immoral ideal that will disgrace those responsible,” said Bennett.

The Likud party also accused Liberman of planning to back a Gantz-led minority government supported by the Joint List.

In response, Liberman refused to comment on the claims, deriding them as political “spin”.

“We have no intention of addressing this or any other spin. If [the Likud] wants to sit down with us for serious negotiations, they first need to break up their bloc with the haredim and Messianic [Right], and then we can discuss everything.”