MK Sharren Haskel (Likud) ripped Coalition Chairman David Amsalem for attempting to boot her from the Likud party in light of her refusal to vote for the haredi-proposed Supermarkat Law. Amsalem had asked the Likud party's legal adviser to expel her from the Likud, claiming that Haskel's decision to oppose the law jeopardizes the stability of the coalition and the government.
"The Supermarket Law is the law of a party that barely exceeds the threshold and imposes a religious lifestyle on an entire public" said Haskel, pointing out that Shas, which sponsored the law, is barely crossing the electoral threshold in recent polls. "It's a law that discriminates between different cities, deepens the secular and religious rift and revives the difficult conflict of the 1990s over the character of the state," alleged Haskel.
"The Likud is a diverse movement composed of traditional people, religious and secular, people who go to the synagogue on Shabbat morning and then go out for a cup of coffee. Most Likud voters oppose the Supermarket Law."
"Amsalem has crossed a red line with his thuggish behavior," continued Haskel. "The Revisionist liberal values instilled by the movement's founders, Zeev Jabotinsky and Menachem Begin, are the values I have sworn to defend, not the whims of one minister or another."
If Amsalem's petition to the Likud administration is accepted, Haskel will be barred from running for the Knesset as part of the Likud, likely bringing her political career to an end.
The Knesset is slated to vote on the Supermarket Law this week and it is not clear if the coalition will be able to muster a majority. The law would grant the Interior Minister the powers to block bylaws passed by municipal authorities that allow grocery stores and mini markets to open on Shabbat. Israel's longstanding "status quo" agreement on religion and state calls for markets to be kept closed on the Sabbath, but has been slowly eroded, starting with kibbutz shopping malls opening on the Jewish day of rest.
The bill is opposed by the entire Yisrael Beytenu faction and large parts of Moshe Kahlon's Kulanu party. The scheduled vote was pushed off last week after the coalition leaders understood that they would not be able to muster the majority needed to approve the bill.