Jewish Home MK: I won't vote with the coalition

MK Bezalel Smotrich: Government crossed red line, caved completely to terror: 'We'll pay interest on this decision in the future.'

Shimon Cohen ,

Bezalel Smotrich
Bezalel Smotrich
Miriam Alster/Flash90

Arutz Sheva spoke on Wednesday with MK Bezalel Smotrich (Jewish Home) about his decision not to vote with the coalition in protest of Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's handling of the magnetometer crisis.

"The Cabinet's decision is embarrassing, wrong, and most of all - dangerous," Smotrich said. "The message it gives our enemies is that terror and violence pay off. An evil terrorist who murdered a family on Friday night managed to bring the government to its knees and cause it to make unprofessional decisions."

"This decision contradicts the government's decision a few days earlier, and it contradicts the Prime Minister's and Likud's promise that they would not bend on sovereignty on the Temple Mount or remove the magnetometers. But there was a terror attack and a few riots got out of hand.

"Anyone who shows that he can be pressured into making decisions invites terror and violence. Anyone here who thinks that this decision will prevent the situation from escalating and will prevent more terror attacks should know that he's not preventing anything, he's just delaying it. And whenever you delay something, you end up paying interest on it."

What about the Shabak (Israel Security Agency), Police Chief Roni Alsheikh, and the other professionals involved? Why don't they understand Smotrich's logic?

"Unfortunately top officials - and this isn't the first time - do everything they can to delay conflict and buy temporary peace and quiet - even if it will cost us heavily in the future," Smotrich explained. "This is a problem in other areas as well - we ignore Hamas' escalation in Gaza, their tunnels, their consistent rocket attacks, and the fact that they are restoring their fighting abilities. This is something which will cost us in the future if G-d forbid conflict does break out."

"We want quiet right now, but we're mortgaging our future for the present. Look at what's happening on the northern front - there are over 100,000 high precision rockets there, and in their first round of firing Hezbollah can drop 1,000 missiles on us. Israel sees and allows it to happen - because we're scared."

Smotrich also said that this kind of behavior makes sense and is completely natural, because politicians think about upcoming elections - they're not thinking about the long-term, because that's not their issue.

"When you delay something, you pay interest on it. Decisions are measured in the long-term, not in the short term. I am not willing to ignore a decision which may have severe long-term effects, if it is morally wrong, or even worse, harming our security, the way our enemies view us, and our ability to deter terror attacks.

"The government is not a bunch of puppets. I was chosen to represent the public and I have a conscience. I'm not a rubber stamp and we don't lift and lower our hands in response to orders from above. It's true that we usually abide by coalition decorum, but there are red lines and I believe this decision was a red line which should not have been crossed.

"There are a lot of decisions I don't agree with - but I don't make a fuss about most of them. This decision is something else."

Regarding his decision to limit his refusal to the current Knesset session, Smotrich explained, "Later on we'll see what happens, we'll see where things are going. It will be very sad if the Prime Minister continues with his policies of surrender and giving in to terror."

"My decision is not dramatic and it does not pull the coalition apart. But there are different ways to make a statement. It would be better if other MKs joined me."

Israel placed magnetometers at the Temple Mount entrances after three Muslim terrorists killed two police officers with weapons obtained on the Temple Mount. The Waqf (a Jordanian trust fund which controls the Temple Mount) protested the magnetometers, and Arabs took to the streets rioting the "closure" of Al-Aqsa Mosque.

Five days after the magnetometers were placed, a terrorist entered the Salomon family's Neve Tzuf (Halamish) home, slaughtered three family members, and wounded a fourth. On his Facebook page, the terrorist explained his actions as a "response" to Israel's "closure" of Al-Aqsa.

A day later, a terror attack on Israel's embassy in Jordan led to the fear that the Jordanian ambassador would not return home. Speaking with Jordan's King Abdullah II, Netanyahu agreed to remove both the magnetometers and decades-old security cameras from the Temple Mount.

In 1929, Muslims descended on Hevron's Jewish community, slaughtering 69 Jews. The State of Israel did not yet exist (the land belonged to Britain), Jews were not in charge of the Temple Mount, and certainly, there were no magnetometers.



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