Steinitz: 'Netanyahu is 100 times better than Gantz, even if one of his hands is tied'

Energy Min. Steinitz says no comparison between former PM Olmert's trial and that of PM Netanyahu, right-wing bloc only hope for coalition.

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Yuval Steinitz
Yuval Steinitz
Esty Dazyubov, TPS

Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz (Likud) on Wednesday responded to the date set for the beginning of Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's trial.

In an interview with 103 FM Radio, Steinitz emphasized that "Netanyahu, with his experience and unique talents, is a 100 times better candidate than [Blue and White Chairman MK Benny] Gantz, even if he has one hand tied behind his back and he has to appear in court once every few months."

He added: "We're the only ones who can form [a government], because another 2-3 Knesset seats for the Likud has 61 and a stable, efficient, and good government for Israel, and another 2-3 Knesset seats for Blue and White wont help anything."

"The math is simple, the center-left bloc is only 47, they don't have a chance at a government without [the Joint Arab List and MK] Ahmad Tibi."

Steinitz also emphasized that Netanyahu will not need to attend every court hearing. The judge "can obligate him, that's true, but that's not how these types of hearings usually work. Look at [Yisrael Beytenu Chairman MK Avigdor] Liberman's trial, at [former Prime Minister Ehud] Olmert's trial, they weren't present for most of the hearings."

Regarding the comparison to Olmert, Steinitz said: "The situation was different. Olmert's coalition broke apart, he lost the support for him to speak, his party turned against him, and besides for that, really, truly, Netanyahu is a unique case. He's an amazing international diplomat."