Minister Yariv Levin
Minister Yariv Levin Hadas Parush / Flash 90

Coalition Chairman MK Yariv Levin (Likud) on Thursday referred in a Reshet Bet interview to the technical bloc agreement signed between the Religious Zionist Party, Noam, and Otzma Yehudit.

"Any decision to unite forces is correct, there's no need for so many small parties; it's very important that all the voices of the Right are expressed," Levin noted.

"It should be understood that a party led by Bezalel Smotrich alone would probably not have passed the electoral threshold but would have lost three seats to the Right-leaning bloc, so this merger, with all the difficulties it raises, is a necessary connection and I think it's good that it happened.

"Certainly Itamar Ben Gvir's way is not my way and his opinions are not my opinions," Levin stressed, but added, "Unfortunately, many in the Knesset have been serving people for a long time who are much worse. I'll give you an example, when a faction like Balad (part of the Joint Arab List - ed.) not only sits in the Knesset but also recommends Benny Gantz (Blue and White) for prime minister and with his votes he wins the seat, I didn't hear cries of 'gevald' (lit. "oh no!" - ed.) or claims and questions of this kind."

"There is quite a bit of hypocrisy in this matter. I certainly think that we have no intention for Itamar Ben Gvir and his party to be part of the coalition. On the other hand, I think it's necessary to create a situation where Bezalel Smotrich's party passes the electoral threshold," Levin explained.

In the interview, Levin also referred to the expected discussion in the government on extending the lockdown, and a variety of allegations regarding Prime Minister Netanyahu's personal interest in the process: "The need for a lockdown does not relate to the issue of law, and the attempt to link them is out of place."