United Torah Judaism chairman MK Moshe Gafni said on Saturday night that, in his opinion, former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was wrong in not getting the state budget approved when he was Prime Minister.
"I spoke to Netanyahu many times and he said 'yes yes.' We had arguments about this, I thought he was wrong and I told him that. There were also issues I was not too involved in, [such as] the issue of the rotation [with Benny Gantz]," Gafni said in an interview with Channel 12 News.
He commented on the remarks of his faction member, MK Yisrael Eichler, who said Netanyahu should have vacated his seat after losing the election. "Eichler is wrong, he probably does not understand that as soon as Netanyahu leaves - the Likud falls apart."
Gafni also clarified, "We are not working for Netanyahu's survival. We are working for the traditional public that goes with Netanyahu. If the traditional public goes to another party and supports someone else then we will support them. I want the State of Israel to be a Jewish state and the traditional public to be dominant."
Gafni also said he does not regret calling Prime Minister Naftali Bennett a “traitor”.
"The State of Israel consists of two main parts, right and left. Right-wing voters elected Bennett and he betrayed them and passed their votes to a left-wing government."
Gafni also said he would not take back other harsh remarks he made. "When Yulia Malinovsky [of Yisrael Beytenu] says we are the Taliban, if it was last year I may have been silent, but this year I am no longer silent - she is anti-Semitic. I cannot sit in the Knesset plenum and hear how she is turning the haredi public into the Taliban."
He said, "Malinovsky sits on the committee for religious services, says she does not eat kosher and she conducts discussions there on kosher reform. It’s like the committee to eradicate the drug scandal will have a chairman who smokes drugs. Her behavior does not make me laugh at all."
On Religious Services Minister Matan Kahana he said, "He should say thank you that I did not call him 'Haman', who wanted to destroy the people of Israel, I only called him 'Antiochus', who just wanted us to say that we have no part of the God of Israel."
A senior Likud official told Arutz Sheva in response to Gafni's remarks, "The Likud was around long before Netanyahu and will be around long after him. The Likud remained after the late Begin's departure and will also remain after Netanyahu. In contrast to the ‘atmosphere parties’, the Likud is a party with deep roots that are stronger than any flesh and blood."