Elkin to Arutz Sheva:
'Initiative to cancel the elections is a spin'

Minister Ze'ev Elkin concerned about the situation of the right-wing bloc ahead of the elections.

Nitsan Keidar ,

Ze'ev Elkin
Ze'ev Elkin
Yonatan Sindel/Flash 90

Minister Ze’ev Elkin (Likud) believes that the latest reports regarding initiatives to cancel the dissolution of the Knesset are nothing but spins.

"My personal position is that there is no political and legal feasibility for this, and therefore it’s nothing but a spin that is going around," Elkin told Arutz Sheva on Tuesday evening.

Asked whether he believes it is realistic for the right-wing bloc to achieve 61 Knesset seats in the present situation, Elkin replied, "There is a possibility, but it will be very difficult to achieve. We need for the politicians on the right to put their differences aside and gather, if not into one party, then to two large frameworks, each of which will be able to pass the electoral threshold. The split has led to the situation in which we are in today, when the rule of the right is in danger. We have to bring the voters of the rightist bloc to all the right-wing parties, and ensure that no one will remain at home."

Asked if a unity government would be acceptable, he said, "I think the most important task is to establish a right-wing government. I do not think anyone here wants a government that, even if headed by the Likud, its future will depend on the people of the center-left like Benny Gantz.”

He also discussed the possibility of bringing former minister Ayelet Shaked into the Likud, which appears to have been taken off the table. "It could be that this move would have hurt the chances of other right-wing players to pass the threshold," said Elkin.

Elkin looked at two significant events that took place on Tuesday, the first being the summit of national security advisers in Jerusalem and the second one being the economic workshop organized by the United States in Bahrain.

"I do not know if I would define the workshop as a dramatic event for us. At the same time, there is an internalization here, including in the Arab world, that the real problems are in the economic sphere and that [PA chairman Mahmoud] Abbas cynically uses the Palestinian population in Judea and Samaria for the purpose of goading Israel," he said.

"There is a good and positive precedent here for the State of Israel in that Abbas did not come to the summit while the Arab countries are coming. I think that this event can also be seen in relation to the summit of the national security advisers that took place here. These two events, the workshop in Bahrain and the summit in Jerusalem, broadcast the same thing: Israel today is an important player in the international arena – which maintains a very close relationship with the US as a strategic partner - but also with Russia. Therefore, it is precisely in Jerusalem that the Russian national security adviser can meet with his American counterpart and discuss major issues of world order. Israel is also an important player for some countries in the region, who understand that the real threat to them is not from Israel but from Iran,” continued Elkin.

He also expressed doubts about a future American agreement to Israel imposing sovereignty over Judea and Samaria.

"I cannot say when and how, but I belong to the camp of those who have been talking for a long time about the need to advance Israeli sovereignty in Judea and Samaria, at least gradually. I cannot say that the Americans will not object to it because this is an optimistic working assumption, but this is an Israeli interest and we must strive for it, regardless of the American position."

"I very much hope that in the next government we will be able to form a right-wing government. This is not obvious in light of the position held by Avigdor Liberman and in light of the split on the right. There is some doubt that we will succeed in bringing 61 MKs to the right-wing bloc. This demands a lot of responsibility from politicians to the right of the Likud, who in the meantime are splitting up instead of uniting. Assuming a right-wing government is formed, the vision of applying sovereignty can become practical,” concluded Elkin.

Listen to the interview with Minister Ze’ev Elkin (in Hebrew):