Hanegbi and Netanyahu,
Hanegbi and Netanyahu, Miriam Alster/Flash 90

Minister of Agriculture Tzachi Hanegbi (Likud) addressed the political deadlock at the weekly government meeting today (Sunday) and called on the left to cease their efforts to get the Likud to replace Netanyahu.

Hanegbi noted that he was not worried about the possibility of going to the opposition. "I [sat in the opposition] following the 1996 elections, and returned [to the governing coalition] in 2001 and again in 2012. This is what politics is all about. One time, you're part of the coalition, and the next in the opposition."

"It is time to calm down and if we want to prevent [another round of] elections and avoid having a government that will answer to the [Joint List MK] Ahmad Tibi, we must have a unity government based on two things," Hanegbi added. "First, we need to stop vetoing Netanyahu's decisions and lose the illusion that he's on his way out. Second, [come to terms with the fact that] the Prime Minister is entitled by law to remain in office during his trial. In this regard his lot has been drawn," Hanegbi noted referencing the Purim story.

"If Gantz realizes this, he will avoid being trapped into entering a minority government that will be the most mocked, ridiculed and short-lived in the history of the country," he predicted.

"If we sit in the opposition, Gantz will become a slave to the Joint List and Ahmad Tibi. Not only will his government be the shortest-lived in Israel's history, our time in the opposition will also be the shortest."