MK Zohar: We didn't know we would be in this situation

Coalition chair explains how proposal to investigate High Court conflict of interest failed, says its passage could have dismantled gov't.

Yehonatan Gottlieb ,

MK Zohar
MK Zohar
Adina Walman/Knesset spokesperson

MK Mickey Zohar (Likud) explained on Wednesday how the proposal to establish a parliamentary committee of inquiry into conflicts of interest among Supreme Court judges failed to pass, despite his claim that his party and the prime minister himself supported it.

"We did not know that we would be in this situation that we faced today," said MK Zohar told Galei Tzahal.

"We didn't know that this event would come to where it did," he added. "We were in favor of the proposal. I talked to the prime minister throughout the day and the prime minister asked me, 'Mickey, we are for the proposal, I ask that you help this proposal pass.'"

"The proposal fell not because we did not want it to, but because it did not find a majority in the Knesset. Two chose to abstain from voting, two others were in isolation, beyond that there were other people who did not vote for other reasons, some for fear of conflict of interest. "

According to Zohar, "Prime Minister Netanyahu, and I say this clearly, asked me all day to pass it, he demanded to pass it. I counted Netanyahu out yesterday because he has a coronavirus treatment day. From morning till the evening, the weight of the coronavirus is on his shoulders. When he realized that we needed every vote, he said 'I'm coming,' but it was already too late."

In addition, "we were sure that Yisrael Beytenu would vote for it. We were sure it would have a majority. As soon as the prime minister saw that it was about to fail, he ran to get to the vote, but he did not manage to make it. Miri Regev was late to the vote at the last second."

When asked by the interviewer why MK Zohar will not try to pass the law again, he replied: "If this issue comes up again and we have to make a decision that we vote for that decision - it means elections. All day, we've been conflicted about what to do because this matter flows in our veins. "

"We wanted to pass it and we tried to pass it," he said. "I say clearly, we were conflicted about this matter because we knew that this vote could drag us to elections. Practically speaking, we voted for it despite the price, because we said that we wouldn't betray our voters."