Kahlon: Give Us the Tools to Make Changes

Kulanu chairman issues veiled threat to Likud as coalition talks continue.

Hezki Baruch and Elad Benari ,

Moshe Kahlon
Moshe Kahlon
Ronen Najati

Kulanu chairman Moshe Kahlon said on Sunday evening that his party’s only wish is to help out the weaker sectors of society, but warned, “If we’re not given the tools to do so, we will not be there (in the coalition -ed.).”

"In recent days, negotiations have been underway, we presented our demands and mind you - nothing has changed. We want one thing - to succeed where others have failed," he said at a meeting of Kulanu party activists.

“Kulanu is the hope of hundreds of thousands of people in the country who hope that we succeed where others either did not want to succeed or failed. Solutions must be produced and Kulaunu will produce these solutions,” Kahlon continued.

“We are negotiating with clean hands,” he said. “We have not asked for anything, not positions, not to take advantage of this situation, we came with honesty, integrity and humility and said - give us the tools to take care of the disadvantaged populations, the students, the elderly.”

"We asked to receive the directorship of planning in order to design apartments, we asked for the Israel Lands Administration in order to release lands so that we would have where to build. We did not ask for more than that. We asked for tools, not for ministers or ambassadors,” Kahlon said, and added, “I will not go into this trap, whoever wants us as partners will receive us as partners, whoever wants us to take responsibility - we are ready to do so. But give us the power to do so. Do not leave us with the responsibility but without the authority.”

He then issued a veiled threat, saying, "Give us the tools to solve the housing crisis. If we cannot solve the housing crisis when we have the tools to do so, I will not wait to be fired, I will go on my own. We are coming to take action, not to talk. Give us the tools and we will take action. If you do not give us the tools, we won’t be there.”

There have been tensions between the Likud and Kulanu in the aftermath of the election, in which Kulanu won ten seats.

Last week, Kahlon canceled a meeting with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to discuss the participation of his Kulanu party in Netanyahu's government.

In a statement, Kulanu said that the cancellation was “due to the political activity that the Likud is engaging in on the tools we need to lower the cost of housing and deal with the high cost of living even before the negotiations between the parties begin,” referring to reports that Netanyahu had promised the chairmanship of the Knesset Finance Committee to United Torah Judaism.

Last week there were reports that Kahlon had agreed to give up the chairmanship of the Finance Committee, which he denied.

On Sunday evening, however, Kulanu released a statement updating about a coalition negotiations meeting with the Likud, which it said “was held in a good atmosphere”.

During the meeting, said Kulanu, the sides “discussed the tools necessary for economic growth, to lower housing prices and cost of living, to reduce social disparities and bring about prosperity of the economy and society for the benefit of all citizens of Israel.”