Following MK Idit Silman's decision to leave the coalition, Rabbi Shmuel Eliyahu, the chief rabbi of Tzfat, was asked to comment on the decision and its aftermath. Silman had been in contact with Rabbi Eliyahu prior to her decision, and was invited to the rabbi's home afterward, for congratulations and encouragement.
In my eyes she is a great person. The Yamina party promised its voters that it would be a right-wing party, that it would not partner with left-wingers, that it would not crown [Yesh Atid chairman Yair] Lapid as prime minister, and many other promises too. They broke all these promises. They partnered with the most left-wing of the Left, they are freezing construction in the settlements, and they are destroying the Chief Rabbinate. They are causing terrible harm to the kosher supervision system and also to the conversion system. They are encouraging our enemies and those who hate us.
They are doing immense damage to the Jewish People. This government is also causing harm to religious education; they are appointing a whole roster of left-wing judges; now they even want to bring hametz [leavened bread] into the hospitals on Passover. And all this is apart from the construction freeze in Judea and Samaria and their legalization of thousands of homes illegally built by Arabs. They have transferred tens of billions of shekels to our Arab enemies. The weakness they are displaying has now led to the terrible terrorist attacks we have recently seen. And then there's the weakness they are demonstrating vis-a-vis Iran, with its race toward nuclear capacity.
If this is what happens under Bennett's leadership, then what will happen under Lapid? This isn't "ten degrees more to the right than Netanyahu" [as Bennett promised his government would be]. It's a hundred degrees more to the left.
The expressions of hatred and divisiveness such as those we have been hearing from Yair Golan and Omer Barlev [against "settler violence"], both coalition members, were never before heard in the history of the State of Israel. They have joined up with left-wingers who think that we should be supporting the families of terrorists, and they have given them not just a platform but also the wherewithal to put their ideas into practice.
This is not just a case of one man who sold out his beliefs. This is an entire party that has swindled its voters. Naftali Bennett knew before the elections that he was going to deceive his voters and he promised them things that he knew he could not deliver on. He knew what the polls were saying, how much support each of the parties had. This is the biggest swindle in the country's history.
I have no doubt that this was a very difficult decision for Idit Silman to make, and a very brave decision. But it was the right decision to make. If only the men of the Yamina party had even an ounce of the bravery, honesty, and firm character that this lady has displayed.
They should emulate her bravery and heroism and sense of personal responsibility. Anyone who is religious, who is moral, all the Torah scholars in that party should learn what it means to be honest and upright and trustworthy, and also what it means to do teshuvah, to repent for one's misdeeds.