Interviewed on Radio 103FM on Wednesday, MK Matan Kahana (Yamina) discussed the upcoming elections called for March, 2021, and the recently announced candidacy of Gideon Sa’ar for the premiership.
“We want Naftali Bennett to form the next government,” Kahana stressed, “and we’ll do whatever it takes to make sure that happens.”
When asked about Yamina’s plans to cooperate with other political parties, Kahana echoed what Bennett has been saying over the past few months. “We will sit with anyone who is capable of setting personal disputes aside for two minutes and who understands that we’re at war right now,” he said. “We will not rule out sitting with any Zionist party that recognizes the State of Israel as a Jewish and democratic state. The main thing is to be committed to getting citizens back to work, to providing people with a means toward a livelihood, and to overcoming this coronavirus epidemic.”
Despite polls showing a significant drop in support for the Yamina party following the creation of former Likud MK Gideon Sa’ar’s New Hope party, Kahana denied that the development was of concern to Yamina.
“We’re not at all worried,” he said. “We didn’t crack open the champagne bottles when the polls had us at 20 seats or more, and we’re not tearing out our hair now that we’re polling below that. We believe in our path, and we’re not in the business of boycotting others. We have a party leader who is full of initiatives, full of charisma – someone who knows how to lead through the difficult period in which we currently find ourselves – something that cannot be said of the leaders of the other parties.”
Kahana stressed that he sees significant differences between New Hope and Yamina. “[New Hope], unfortunately, doesn’t seem to know how to move beyond questions of which parties it’s willing to sit with and which parties it rules out. This is childish behavior, and it inevitably ends with telling lies to the voters. And then we have another party, [Yamina] one that deals with providing real solutions for real difficulties and is led by someone who knows how to get things done.”
Kahana emphasized that Yamina is a party that is “deeply rooted in right-wing ideology. We were the ones who brought the public discourse on sovereignty to the forefront. We are also the party that focuses on the separation of powers [between the judiciary and the legislative], and we know that things have to be done differently in future – we have to prioritize what’s truly urgent and leave the merely ‘important’ until later. Thank G-d we now have vaccines and I hope that they will arrive in sufficient quantities and prove to be effective. However, there is no vaccine that can heal the social schisms and the massive unemployment that the epidemic has caused – and furthermore, these problems cannot be solved by politicians who spend all their time fighting among themselves and boycotting each other. Rather, we need to be united in order to address these issues, and this vision is what we will be presenting to voters – and I am confident that people will respond enthusiastically.”
He also pointed out that, “At the very outset of the current government’s term, we argued that another round of elections would be terrible in the midst of an epidemic – but that as soon as the epidemic was over, it would be time to bring about the government’s downfall. However, this government has been in a constant mode of preparing for elections, regardless – and so, let’s just get the elections done and over with. Our goal right now is to replace Netanyahu. If the public is looking for a leader with determination, with initiative, someone who can unite the country – then the person they are looking for is Naftali Bennett.”