Yamina chairman and former Defense Minister, MK Naftali Bennett, on Monday criticized the conduct of the government in general and of Transportation Minister Miri Regev in particular.
"The entire conduct at the top of the government is terrible. Just look at the last day, one person sets up a defense inquiry committee, not because that is his goal, but to harm the other. The other person sets up a police inquiry committee to harm the former. There is no conduct here," Bennett said in an interview with the Knesset Channel.
"Minister after minister, when you look at what they do in their ministry, not all but some of them, they take a significant ministry, for example the Ministry of Transportation which is really a critical office for the future of Israel, it will determine whether or not we will be stuck in traffic jams for another 20 years, and they turn it into a job-producing machine. It's awful. And every day we see how ministries that are very important for all of us as citizens are taken and turned into a public relations body, canceling initiatives just because they belong to the previous minister," he continued.
Responding to Regev’s claims that Bezalel Smotrich, who preceded her as Transportation Minister, destroyed the Ministry, Bennett said, "It is very, very unfortunate when a minister arrives and he does not understand that he has a statesmanlike responsibility and he comes and says ‘Yes. For me it's an opportunity to provide jobs for Central Committee members. It's okay. Let’s politicize this.’ What does that mean let’s politicize this? It's our future. Is everything we do about politics? And now people will be in traffic jams and we’ll have weak public transportation because of jobs and political games? And the same thing happens in a lot of ministries.”
Bennett clarified that he does not intend to split from Smotrich’s National Union party. “The partnership with Bezalel is a partnership all the way to the end. Bezalel was an excellent Transportation Minister by all accounts. He did not get up in the morning and say ‘I am a minister of the right or the left, a minister of Ashkenazim or Sephardim.’"
Bennett accused Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu of not accepting the plans he suggested simply because they came from him.
"As long as I was Defense Minister, I did not need anyone's approval, I just applied my plans. I did not wait for approval,” he said, adding that he had tried to approach the Prime Minister many, many times. "Unfortunately, I have asked several times in the past year to present to the Prime Minister the plan to prevent the second wave, and now the third wave. He was not interested."
On the conflicts between the Likud and Blue and White, Bennett said, "This is not how you build a partnership. It's like two people getting married and the moment they enter the house all they do is hurt each other. Why? Do you not care about us? Do you not care about a seventh grade student who has not once met her classmates? Do you not care about a store owner from Netanya who yesterday told me he's closing the store after ten years because they don't let him work? Don't you care? Is it just about politics all the time? Why did you come to politics? For honor? For money? Power?"
He then again attacked Regev and said, "I was born into a family of olim. My parents grew up in the United States, and it was not until I grew up that they asked what is Sephardic and Ashkenazi? What is this fighting all day long? Sure there are ethnic groups, there is complexity, but we must not add fuel to the fire, we should celebrate the differences between us. There are people on the right, on the left, we should not hate, we should not be constantly sparking arguments."
Bennett commented on the recordings of the Prime Minister in which he is heard calling him a 'little dog' and said, "I will live with it. I taught my children not to take every insult to heart. I did not come into politics for one person or another, I came for the entire Israeli public. What he said in a private conversation recorded 5 or 10 years ago is not the problem. The problem is that for a year now, in fact for two years, the entire State of Israel has been enslaved to the politics of this whole government. It is terrible. This government is only engaged in politics and it must go away as quickly as possible."