FM Yisrael Katz: 'The Likud isn't going to clean up Bennett's mess'

Foreign Minister Katz rejects idea of Likud reserving spots for members of other parties, says 'personal issues' preventing right-wing unity

Shimon Cohen,

Foreign Minister Yisrael Katz
Foreign Minister Yisrael Katz
Yonatan Sindel, Flash 90

Foreign Minister Yisrael Katz (Likud), who heads the party's Elections Committee, spoke Wednesday morning about the disagreements between the Religious Zionist parties, comparing it to an amoeba's division and calling for all party leaders to show responsibility.

Speaking on Kan Bet, Katz said that it is reasonable to expect that the ideological parties would put their personal considerations last, but "here I see that the personal issue is the only issue. One splits off from the other, and then a second splits off."

"What the left did in this matter is praiseworthy. They united despite the differences between them. The same should be on the right, which knows what is at risk in terms of security, settlements, and other issues. It must unite."

Regarding reports that Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu threatened to fire Defense Minister Naftali Bennett (New Right) and Transportation Minister Bezalel Smotrich (National Union) if they did not bring about a larger right-wing union, Katz said: "The one in charge of hiring and firing is the Prime Minister, and I did not hear about such a thing from him."

However, he also said that Bennett must accept Netanyahu's authority, just like the left accepts the authority of Blue and White Chairman MK Benny Gantz. "He needs to act responsibly, and see things from a nationalist and political point of view."

When asked if the Likud would reserve a spot for Otzma Yehudit leader Itamar Ben Gvir, similar to how it reserved a spot on its list for Rabbi Eli Ben Dahan in order to allow for a larger right-wing merger, Katz said: "We're not playing with Legos. The Likud is not going to put together pieces of Lego that Bennett spilled on the carpet. When Bennett and Shaked left the Jewish Home at the last moment, the Prime Minister acted very responsibly and did what he did what Rabbi Ben Dahan. Since then we've been through elections, and more elections. He needs to act responsibly and he will receive support for that."