In a new video, Moshe Kahlon evokes the name and the spirit of legendary Likud leader Menachem Begin, and portrays himself as the political leader who will carry out Begin's social policy legacy – but according to Transportation Minister Yisrael Katz, Kahlon is no Begin, and is unlikely to be seen as one.
In the video, scenes of the social struggle in Israel that led to Begin's upset victory in 1977 are seen, as lower middle class and poor Israelis of mostly Sephardic background are seen protesting, demanding justice and a fair shake. The Likud, Kahlon says in a voiceover, was catapulted to leadership by working class Israelis for whom economic issues were essential – but those very people had been forgotten by today's Likud. His Kulanu party, said Kahlon, will place their concerns back on the center stage.
Kahlon, however, is just grandstanding, said Katz. “My friend Moshe Kahlon, you attack the Likud and claim that it has abandoned the path of Begin. When did this happen exactly? Until barely two years ago you were Welfare Minister in Binyamin Netanyahu's government. It was only a few months ago that you renounced your Likud party membership.
“You claim to be the heir to Begin's path, but you're no Begin,” said Katz. “Begin was a supporter of all the people and all of the Land of Israel, and he spurned your way and the way of the left. If he had to choose between a coalition headed by Netanyahu or one supported by the Arabs, he would clearly choose the Likud. He certainly would not act as you said you would – going with the government that offers you the best deal!”