Ofer Shelah: 'Benny Gantz collapsed and sold his voters'

Yesh Atid-Telem MK Ofer Shelah slams incoming government, says Blue and White 'compromised on every value and principle' to join government

103FM ,

Ofer Shelah
Ofer Shelah
Miriam Alster/Flash 90

MK Ofer Shelah, of the Yesh Atid-Telemn party which broke off from Blue and White, slammed the incoming government, which is slated to be sworn in on Thursday.

Speaking with 103 FM Radio, Shelah said that Blue and White Chairman MK Benny Gantz "collapsed, and sold his voters."

"The Likud first of all takes - and that's fine because they're a large party all of the key roles, including those relating to the coronavirus management, and the problem is what it does with them. It hands them out via all sorts of methods with rotations between ministers and all sorts of patents. On the other hand, Blue and White is a choir of people encouraging this. There's no balance here."

Shelah also noted that he himself "is busy with the completion of the Coronavirus Committee's work, led by myself, which apparently will end, and certainly [end] its effective days, when the government is formed."

"There was an alternative - excellent in my eyes and even excellent for balance and brakes that the Israeli system so sorely needed - until Benny Gantz collapsed," he said, adding that his bloc "does not have the ability to form a government."

Shelah also claimed that the polls showing that most of Blue and White's voters supported his decision to join a unity government are not recent and "were very temporary, stemming from the public's sigh of relief that a government was being formed."

"There was never a stance that we would absolutely not sit with [Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin] Netanyahu. But from there to completely giving up on everything, from the size of the government, its policies, and key roles, and talking all the time about the emergency period of the coronavirus [outbreak], Blue and White did not take a single role that had to do with managing the coronavirus. As part of this government, Benny Gantz and [Blue and White MK] Gabi Ashkenazi completely gave Binyamin Netanyahu the key to start annexing settlements in Judea and Samaria from the first day of July - and they signed, among other things, a document which has completely backwards logic.

About himself, Shelah said: "If we were in the government, I would be at least the Justice Minister of the State of Israel. It's not like I volunteered to fill some role that needs to be filled so things look democratic - I really wanted these roles."

He added that he would like to be part of the government, and believes that he has "a lot to contribute."

"It's not a secret, I've said it, I wanted to be Finance Minister despite the fact that the Finance Minister right now may be one of the least popular roles. But under the conditions required to join the government means that the government that we see, the policies that we see, whether in security matters and other matters, and compromising on every value and principle - then yes, it's better to go to the opposition desert. It doesn't make me happy, but it's better."

However, he added that there are advantages to serving in the opposition as well as the coalition.

"I was already a member of the Opposition Committee in similar circumstances, in the 20th Knesset," he said, adding that members of the opposition "can work together and cooperate."

"You need to remember that the opposition is not the coalition. In the coalition, every day, a person has to compromise and vote even in opposition to his views, because he's part of a coalition system. In the opposition, when it comes to these things we will find a way to cooperate. At the end of the day, this is an opposition of experienced people who know how to work and who know how to work together."