Steinitz: Iran could soon start a war in the Middle East

Energy Minister explains why he thinks Netanyahu should serve as Prime Minister first in any rotation agreement with Blue and White.

103FM ,

Yuval Steinitz
Yuval Steinitz
Flash 90

Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz (Likud) spoke on Tuesday with Ben Caspit and Arieh Eldad on Radio 103FM following the meeting between Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Blue and White chairman Benny Gantz, in which no progress was made towards a unity government.

"I think there must be a unity government for two reasons. There are historical decision-making moments here, especially regarding Iran, and also because the bitterness and tensions between the sections of the people, which have reached new heights, must be reduced following two election campaigns," said Steinitz.

Netanyahu cannot start a campaign in Iran without the Chief of Staff holding his hand? What do you mean by a decision on the issue of Iran?

"Iran is under tremendous pressure. Its economy is crashing and we have seen the riots in the streets. France is mostly trying to mediate. My guess is that either Iran will explode in a powerful war in the Middle East or Iran will want and agree to make concessions. In both cases, Netanyahu has to be there and we have to keep our finger on the pulse. This will affect our future."

I can already hear Steinitz saying that the next six months are going to be crucial, so Netanyahu should not go into incapacitation.

"In my opinion, there is no real crisis of trust [with Blue and White]. If an agreement is signed, I have no doubt that it will be fulfilled."

The president's outline is a different outline. The President has made it clear that incapacitation, as far as he’s concerned, is either after the decision on an indictment or after the filing of the indictment. You've already turned the five months into a year.

"I talked about dividing the time served as Prime Minster into one year, then two years, then one year. I wish for Netanyahu with all my heart, like most citizens of the State of Israel do, that he will not to go to prison. I think what is happening to him is a tragedy for most of Israel’s citizens and not only for Netanyahu. I hope we don’t get there. As for the political issue, I have no doubt that there are ways to reach agreements for a rotation with a clear date for incapacitation. This agreement will be fulfilled. The distrust that people talk about is just an excuse for those who want to advance the option of another election."

Since Blue and White won more seats and got more votes than the Likud, why not tell the Prime Minister that the proposal of Blue and White makes more sense? That the Likud will remain in power but simply wait two years before a representative on its behalf serves as Prime Minister.

"I think this is an unreasonable and illogical proposal. Gantz has never been a minister or deputy minister in the government. He has no ministerial experience, so it would be better for him to join the government, understand how it functions during those first six months and then take office. During those six months, a decision could be made on the Iranian issue. Netanyahu’s influence on Trump and on American public opinion is irreplaceable. Even if Netanyahu goes to trial, that can also take a few years, so even if we go to an election, Netanyahu will serve for six months in any case."

Even if he goes into incapacitation, I believe he would turn to the global media to defend Israel and go to the United States to garner support. He, by the way, did not have any overlap [before becoming Prime Minister].

"He was also the leader of the opposition and came with more experience. I am not invalidating Gantz, but logic and fairness require that Netanyahu serve [as Prime Minister] first."