'Netanyahu broke up the right-wing bloc, we might not back him next time'

'Rafi Peretz doesn't belong in politics,' says former Transportation Minister, adding that Yamina might not back Netanyahu in next election.

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

Bezalel Smotrich
Bezalel Smotrich
Olivier Fitoussi/Flash90

The rightist Yamina party warned Tuesday morning that might not recommend Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu for another term as premier after the next general election.

In an interview Tuesday morning with Galei Tzahal radio, former Transportation Minister MK Bezalel Smotrich blamed Netanyahu for the breakup of the right-wing bloc, and said that his party would not commit to backing Netanyahu the next time around.

“I don’t know if we’ll recommend Netanyahu again, there are a lot of things that can change,” said Smotrich. “The Israeli public understands that Netanyahu isn’t delivering the goods.”

The comments come amid reports that Yamina chairman Naftali Bennett intends to challenge Netanyahu for the premiership if new elections are called this year.

Later in the interview, Smotrich dismissed reports that Netanyahu is planning to form a narrow right-wing government if the Likud and Blue and White parties are unable to reach an agreement to pass a budget.

“I don’t buy it. If it could be formed, it would have been made after the elections, unless Netanyahu preferred Gantz to begin with. Netanyahu broke up the right-wing bloc, and unfortunately there is no way to fix it.”

Turning to Jerusalem Affairs Minister and Jewish Home chief Rafi Peretz’s comments on a possible return to Yamina, Smotrich hinted that Peretz would not be welcomed back into the rightist joint list, saying the former IDF chief rabbi and yeshiva dean-turned lawmaker is not suited to politics.

“Rabbi Rafi is a good man, I have a lot of respect for him as an educator, a dean, and as a former army rabbi. But he isn’t suited to politics. He trashed the historic National Religious Party [forerunner to the Jewish Home] and led it to an all-time low of zero support.”

“There is something very unbelievable about a person who just two months ago broke up a partnership in order to get a position [in the government]. Apparently, now he’s worried because he smells new elections. He’s a good man, but simply not suited to politics.”