Kahlon Rules Out 'Parties that Are Not Zionist'

Kulanu chairman rules out coalition with Joint Arab List, says he will not condition joining a coalition on him being Finance Minister.

Ben Ariel, Canada ,

Moshe Kahlon
Moshe Kahlon
Flash 90

Kulanu party chairman Moshe Kahlon said on Friday that he would refuse to be part of a coalition that includes parties that are “not Zionist”, as he put it, a reference to the Joint Arab List.

“It will be very hard for me to sit with them, I say this in the most open manner. I am a part of the nationalist camp,” Kahlon told Channel 2 News, adding, "What is happening in this country does not interest them as much, so my place will not be with them."

Some polls have shown the Joint Arab List receiving as many as 13 seats, making them the third largest party in the Knesset. Traditionally, the Arab parties have not joined the coalition but there have speculations that this might change if the joint list, which was formed due to the raising of the electoral threshold, wins enough seats so that Zionist Camp leader Yitzhak Herzog would have to include it in order to secure a majority.

In Friday’s interview, Kahlon also said that the Finance Ministry will not be a condition for his party joining a coalition, adding, “We'll get this portfolio because we’ll win enough seats to do so.”

"The finance portfolio will not be a precondition because we will have to be part of the government to solve the housing crisis, there is a state of emergency here," continued Kahlon. "With all modesty, I will be the Minister of Finance of the State of Israel because you can only solve these problems from that ministry."

He denied that he is currently engaged in talks with other parties, amid recent reports that he is speaking with both the Jewish Home and Yesh Atid.

"I have no negotiations with anyone, I am negotiating with the public. I don’t have any preference,” said Kahlon, who also refused to declare that he will not join a government headed by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, despite his harsh criticism of his policy on housing. "I will go with whoever fulfills my agenda," he declared.

Addressing Netanyahu’s speech in Congress this week, Kahlon said, “It would not have been disastrous if Netanyahu had gone to speak in Washington on March 18, but once he decided to go, we wished him well." Last month, Kahlon took a jab at Netanyahu when he said that “the cost of living is not solved in Congress and Munich - the cost of living is solved here: in Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Netanya and Haifa.”

The Kulanu chairman, who has described himself as "right-moderate-center" and as the "real Likud," also referred to a potential peace agreement with the Palestinian Authority, saying that "we will object to a binational state, and we will support an agreement.”

(Arutz Sheva’s North American desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)