Netanyahu stops initiative to oust coalition chairman

PM intervenes after a number of Likud MKs agree to oust MK Miki Zohar as head of the Likud Knesset faction and as coalition chairman.

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

Netanyahu and Miki Zohar
Netanyahu and Miki Zohar
Kobi Richter/TPS and Olivier Fitoussi/Flash 90

A number of Likud MKs on Tuesday evening agreed to join an unprecedented initiative to remove MK Miki Zohar as head of the Likud Knesset faction and as coalition chairman.

The move caused an uproar throughout the Likud faction, following which Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu spoke with MK Shlomo Karhi, who led the initiative, and asked him to stop the move to oust Zohar.

The initiative to remove Zohar came together in the wake of Zohar's decision to remove MK Yifat Shasha-Biton as chairwoman of the Coronavirus Committee and to impose sanctions on other members of the faction.

Earlier, Netanyahu gave full backing to Zohar in the face of attacks by Likud MKs. "Without discipline, the Likud cannot govern, and especially not during the coronavirus crisis," Netanyahu tweeted following the move.

"I said yesterday at the faction meeting that I would back coalition chairman Miki Zohar in the disciplinary steps he would take. I ask all Likud members to show responsibility, make sure to maintain factional discipline and stop unnecessary attacks within the faction," Netanyahu added.

After Netanyahu stopped the process to oust him, MK Zohar claimed that the media publications regarding the initiative to remove him were “Fake News”.

"There are no 12 MKs who signed on to remove me from office," said Zohar.

"It is clear to everyone that the Fake News industry in the media is acting against me just as it is acting against the Prime Minister. I thank him again for his full backing against the initiators of the move by making it clear to them that this is an inappropriate act. I will continue to work for the benefit of Israeli citizens, Likud and the Prime Minister without fear," Zohar tweeted.