Netanyahu Promises Kahlon Finance Ministry

With elections mere days away, last ditch effort by Netanyahu to turn Kahlon his way by offering finance portfolio is rejected.

Shlomo Pitrikovsky, Cynthia Blank ,

Israel's Next Finance Minister? Kahlon and Netanyahu
Israel's Next Finance Minister? Kahlon and Netanyahu
Miriam Alster / Flash 90

With elections just two days away, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has promised Moshe Kahlon the finance portfolio. 

Regardless of the number of seats Kulanu receives, its party Chairman will be the next Finance Minister, Netanyahu announced during an interview to be broadcast Sunday morning on Army Radio.  

"I cannot form a government without him," Netanyahu admitted. "Together, Kahlon and I will know how to solve the housing crisis and the high cost of living just as we did with cellular phones."

The Prime Minister is referring to the cellular revolution, which brought new cell phone companies to the market - an initiative largely credited to Kahlon during his tenure as Communications Minister. 

Netanyahu noted it was unfortunate he was unable to focus on housing and the high cost of living in the last government, but that he intends to do so during his next term should he become prime minister again. 

"Together with members of the Likud, Moshe Kahlon as Finance Minister, and Naftali Bennett [we will form] a natural government of natural partners - this is the national government we will make."

Kahlon, for his part, rejected Netanyahu's promise, noting on Facebook that, "Netanyahu already promised me control of the Israel Land Administration and the Finance Ministry in the past, but he did not keep his word."

"It's not a question of personal matters, it's a question of direction, of caring for people. The public has had their fill of promises. It's flattering, but it doesn't solve the humanistic problems of Israeli society."

"Only if the public will give me, and Kulanu, enough power, we will be able to guarantee that every government, either Herzog's or Netanyahu's, will go our way and not the failed way of [Yesh Atid Chairman Yair] Lapid," Kahlon continued.

"Kulanu's strength is a social government. If I don't have enough power, we will again receive the same failed economic policies led by Lapid."

Kahlon's chilly response to Netanyahu comes despite repeatedly claiming he would join any coalition that gives him the finance portfolio, and may give credence to Likud fears Kahlon will recommend Labor leader Yitzhak Herzog for prime minister.