'We Weren't Elected to Promote Livni's Agenda'

MK Ze’ev Elkin says the Likud is determined to pass the Jewish State Law and isn't deterred by threats of an election.

Shimon Cohen ,

MK Ze'ev Elkin
MK Ze'ev Elkin
Flash 90

MK Ze’ev Elkin (Likud), one of the authors of the controversial Jewish State Law, said on Monday that the Likud is not interested in elections at the present time, but also made clear that his party was not elected in order to carry out the agenda of Justice Minister Tzipi Livni.

"You cannot run a country the way things have been handled so far. Tzipi Livni with six seats thinks she can run the country," Elkin told Arutz Sheva, though he ruled out that Livni would quit coalition despite her threats, saying that he is “hearing concerned voices from Yesh Atid and Hatnua. They do not want an election. It is not the Likud that is concerned over elections.”

"We're trying to say to our coalition partners that we have our own concepts and ideologies. We were elected in order to implement them and not to be a tool in the hands of Livni and Lapid and their whims," he continued, adding, “If we want to continue to work together, we are not the only ones who have to compromise. They need to compromise as well. If they understand that, we can continue, but if they threaten to start a crisis over everything, then we'll go to elections.”

As for the Jewish State Law itself, the vote on which was postponed on Monday until a compromise is reached with Lapid and Livni, Elkin pointed out that in no way would it take away the equal rights that are enjoyed by non-Jewish residents of Israel.

"The main question is whether our neighbors who live with us and among us have internalized that there is a Jewish state,” he said. “They are not prepared to accept this fact. We are saying that we are the nation state of the Jewish people. Every citizen will have equal rights as a citizen but the state is Jewish. That is what the United Nations also decided.”

He also pointed out that the Jewish State Law started in the last Knesset and was proposed by Avi Dichter who was a member of Kadima, headed at the time by none other than Livni. The bill was sponsored by many in Kadima as well as the Labor party, recalled Elkin.

"This proposal was not born today. Avi Dichter originally proposed it,” he said. “The secret that Livni won’t talk about is that almost all of Kadima signed the law in the last Knesset. Back then they did not think that it was an extremist law. Even Binyamin Ben Eliezer signed the law. You can compare the two bills and see that nothing has changed. But Haaretz started a campaign against the law and Livni was frightened by this campaign, and ordered to take her friends out as signatories of the law. Consequently Dichter also bowed out. The attempt to present this as something terrible and extreme is lying to the public, but if Haaretz manages Livni and Lapid, then I feel sorry for them.”

Elkin concluded by saying once again that the Likud is not interested in elections but will also not give up on its principles.

"We are not looking for an election by force but we will not be willing to give up on our agenda for fear of elections,” he reiterated. “If they want to talk to us about a compromise, by all means. But if they want to impose their opinion on us, that will not happen. We want to pass this law and not to fight. In order to do this we have to be smart.”