Naftali Bennett
Naftali BennettIsrael news photo: Flash 90

Former Yesha Council chairman Naftali Bennett offered a “safety net” on Tuesday to any ministers who may be fired by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu for voting in favor of the Regulation Law.

Bennett, a rising star in the religious-Zionist political camp, is planning to run for leadership of the Jewish Home party.

“The Likud has finished its historical role,” Bennett said an interview with Channel 1 News, noting that the expected failure in passing the Regulation Law will undoubtedly lead to a demolition of the Ulpana neighborhood of Beit El.

“Whoever was not concerned about the Gush Katif expellees for seven years should not expect us to believe his hallucinatory solutions and spins of sawing homes and caring for citizens,” said Bennett, referring to Netanyahu’s plan to move the homes from the Ulpana neighborhood to a military area within Beit El, rather than demolishing them.

He added, “If it looks like a duck and walks like a duck - then it's no longer a party belonging to the national camp.”

“I declare here unequivocally: I heard that the Prime Minister announced that he would fire any minister who votes against the government's position. I appeal to the ministers: Do not be afraid. Go with your conscience,” Bennett said.

He added, “If the Prime Minister fires you - I pledge to give you a safety net in the Jewish Home which is currently becoming the new national camp. You will not be alone.”

On Tuesday it was reported that Netanyahu’s Bureau contacted all ministers and deputy ministers and made clear that the government opposes the proposed Regulation Law, and that any ministers and deputies who vote in favor will be fired from the government.

Ministers from the Yisrael Beytenu and Shas parties will likely absent themselves from Wednesday’s vote in the Knesset, allowing themselves to refrain being forced to vote against their conscience.

Minister of Diaspora and Public Affairs Yuli Edelstein and Deputy Minister Gila Gamliel, both from the Likud, are expected to back the law despite the threat. It remains unclear how Minister of Science and Technology Daniel Hershkowitz from the Jewish Home party will vote. Edelstein and Hershkowitz are the only two ministers who have not flinched in stating their intention to support the law. Edelstein said last week that he will vote in favor of the law at any cost.