Coalition head MK Idit Silman (Yamina) said on Sunday that "on my watch," no chametz will be allowed in Israel's hospitals during Pesach (Passover).
Chametz is the term for any grain product that is leavened (such as bread or cake); consuming it and even seeing it or possessing it is strictly forbidden during the festival of Pesach (Passover).
Silman made her comments at a meeting of the Knesset's Health Committee, in criticism of Health Minister Nitzan Horowitz, warning that if Horowitz continued to insist on ordering hospitals to allow the entry of chametz on Pesach, "We will not be able to allow this person to continue to serve as a minister."
"At such a turbulent time, the Health Minister has seen fit to make such an announcement with regard to chametz on Pesach, instead of demonstrating concern for others. This is not behavior that is expected from an Israeli government minister," she said.
"During the Holocaust, there were those who fasted throughout Pesach rather than eat chametz, but unfortunately, a minister of the State of Israel, within this coalition, has given an order to allow chametz to be brought into our hospitals," she continued. "Aside from the fact that this is an insult to other members of the coalition, it is also an insult to a sizeable segment of Israeli society - almost 70 percent of the country, in fact," which refrains from eating chametz on Pesach.
"At any rate, I should probably be thanking [Horowitz] for drawing my attention to this issue," she added, "as it's easy to forget about the central issues for the Jewish People, things that we have sacrificed our lives for throughout the generations, and in the current coalition there is no way that we will be party to an attempt to trample on such matters. We have an obligation to show respect for the Israeli public and I say here, at this committee meeting, that we will not condone such statements."
Silman also expressed the "hope that the Health Minister will show respect for the general public and for the coalition of which he is part, and will take note of the veto we have over issues of religion and state. We will not be able to enable him to continue to serve as a minister if he continues to make such statements.
"Therefore, I am asking the minister to issue a clear directive to the hospitals informing them that this year, too, they should act as they have done in years past. There was a certain crossing of a red line here, and that's why I am using this platform, and any other I can, to let it be known that on my watch, this is not going to happen - and I mean this with all my heart."