Elkin to Arutz Sheva: Netanyahu has crossed all the red lines

Ze'ev Elkin attacks Netanyahu's handling of Deputy Minister Fateen Mulla's secret talks with PA.

Nitsan Keidar ,

Elkin and Netanyahu
Elkin and Netanyahu
Marc Israel Sellem/Flash 90

Former Minister Ze’ev Elkin, who is running for the Knesset with the New Hope party, on Tuesday criticized the Likud over its handling of Deputy Minister Fateen Mulla’s secret talks with Palestinian Authority officials in hopes of winning over the PA’s tacit support.

"This is exactly one of the reasons why I am not in the Likud. Today's Netanyahu is not the Netanyahu I knew in the past and there are no red lines. It should be understood that Fateen Mulla is Netanyahu's Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister's Office. The chances of him taking such a step without coordinating it with the Prime Minister or his people are zero. If he really did it on his own, he would just have been fired and the fact is that it did not happen," Elkin told Arutz Sheva in an interview.

“It is clear that [Mulla] received the approval of the Prime Minister and his people. I view this as very serious. After all, turning to the Palestinian Authority in an attempt to influence the election was a claim made by Netanyahu that the left was doing against him. Now he himself is doing the same thing in an attempt to frighten the Palestinians with the argument that 'Sa’ar and Bennett will form a government.' In a way, I also see his move as a compliment because he understands that Gideon Sa’ar is to the right of him, but the very move is a crossing of all red lines," he added.

Elkin also explained why he thinks this is a move that only hurts Israel.

"This is happening just a few weeks after the decision of the International Criminal Court in The Hague, which was the result of the activity of senior Palestinian Authority officials. Instead of accepting my offer to create deterrence against those senior PA officials and use all the tools at our disposal to make them understand that anyone who harms Israel pays a price, Netanyahu responds weakly to the tribunal's decision, he sends Fateen Mulla to hold talks with the same senior PA officials in order to find out if they will help him win the election. Again, Netanyahu of the past would not act like that and would understand what a destructive message this sends, just as Netanyahu of the past would not have cooperated with Mansour Abbas, the leader of the Islamic Movement - a sister movement of Hamas."

"I do not know what the Palestinian Authority's response was, but I know for a fact that Netanyahu is well acquainted with the formula that there are no free meals. I do not want to imagine what the PA would have asked in return for such a thing."

Elkin said he agrees with the position of Dani Dayan, a member of his party, who told Arutz Sheva on Monday that New Hope would form a government that would be based on the right but would also incorporate elements from the left.

"I think that today, in order to emerge from the economic crisis, the State of Israel needs a government that is as broad as possible within its ideological boundaries. Of course, the Joint List can in no way be a partner," he stressed.

"Ultimately, if we succeed in adding elements from the center-left to the government as well, it would be the right thing in order for the government to lead reforms. I would be very happy if the Likud joins our government, but in my opinion even after a loss Netanyahu will not release the Likud and let his people take such steps. I do not believe that the people of the Likud, in the atmosphere that exists there today, will have enough strength to do it alone," Elkin added.

He wondered how the Likud accuses Sa’ar of planning to form a left-wing government, noting that Netanyahu has always looked for partners from the opposite bloc.

"When I hear accusations in this matter from Netanyahu, it's a bit ridiculous. Because I was sent on his behalf to hold coalition negotiations and almost all the governments he formed included one center-left party or another. In 2009 it was the Labor Party and contrary to my recommendation he did not add the National Union, who recommended him for Prime Minister. In 2013, it was Tzipi Livni and Yair Lapid, and in 2015 we formed a government of 61 members in which the most important member was Kahlon, but in 2016 it is no secret that there was a dispute between me and Netanyahu who held advanced negotiations with [Isaac] Herzog and I pushed for Liberman to enter in order to prevent the Labor Party from joining and to keep the government more right-wing."