Miki Zohar: 'Agriculture and Religious Affairs help Religious Zionism most'

Likud's MK Zohar says PM Netanyahu didn't 'throw out' Religious Zionism, insists internal disagreements caused Yamina to choose opposition.

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

Miki Zohar
Miki Zohar
Esty Dazyubov, TPS

Likud MK Miki Zohar, who is expected to be appointed Coalition Chairman, on Wednesday morning discussed the negotiations between Likud and Yamina, which exploded and left Yamina in the opposition.

In an interview with Kan Reshet Bet, Zohar claimed that in contradiction to senior Yamina officials' demands, "the Agriculture and Religious Affairs ministries will help Religious Zionism more than other ministries."

Zohar denied claims that Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu "threw out" Religious Zionism, claiming instead that disagreements within the Yamina party were what influenced its decision not to join the coalition.

"It's not true that Religious Zionism is represented by one party," he said. "We know how to deal with them and how to take care of them. Obviously it would be good if Yamina were in the government. The disagreements in the party brought them down."

Separately, Knesset Speaker Benny Gantz (Blue and White) announced that the swearing-in of the new government, which was scheduled for 1:00p.m. on Thursday, will be delayed until 10:00p.m. Thursday night.

According to the agreement between Blue and White and Likud, Gantz needed to step down from his position as Knesset speaker at least 48 hours before the government was sworn in. Since 48 hours will not have passed since the time Gantz stepped down, there may be a legal issue appointing MK Yariv Levin (Likud), who stepped down from his position as Tourism Minister in order to allow for his appointment as Knesset Speaker.

Sources in Blue and White told Kan Reshet Bet that Gantz waited to leave his position due to concerns that the negotiations between Likud and Yamina, as well as negotiations within the Likud, would leave him without the ability to negotiate with the Likud if the swearing-in ceremony were to be delayed.