Former Yamina MK Yomtob Kalfon has responded to allegations made by acting coalition chairman MK Boaz Toporovsky, who said that Kalfon failed to take his phone calls when he was needed in the Knesset plenum to vote.
According to Toporovsky, this happened a number of times over the past few weeks, when Kalfon's vote was critical.
"These are the facts," Kalfon hit back. "During my tenure [as Knesset member] I spoke on the phone with Boaz Toporovsky dozens of times. There was only one occasion when I didn't answer. Out of dozens of votes on that Wednesday [that Toporovsky was referring to], I was absent for two or three due to a conflicting event, and for another one vote out of ideological reasons. Everything was done in coordination with the party," he stressed, "and the coalition had a majority without me."
Kalfon added that, "Unlike many other MKs, I never stopped a law from passing. Why bring false accusations against me?"
Kalfon's fellow party members have largely remained silent regarding the reasons for which he was ejected from the Knesset when then-Religious Affairs Minister Matan Kahana resigned and resumed his Knesset seat. Kahana merely noted that the move was to "strengthen the coalition," which led many to assume that Kalfon was suspected of planning to be the next coalition member to jump ship - and torpedo the government.
Kalfon has categorically denied this, but Toporovsky's words several days ago suggested that his trustworthiness had indeed been in doubt. "Yomtob was loyal to the coalition, but he was also loyal to his ideology and world view, and sometimes it was hard for him to vote for laws that the opposition knew they would be able to challenge him on," he told the Knesset Channel in an interview.
"Just last Wednesday, I tried to find him a number of times for several votes," he added. "Sometimes he didn't turn up to vote and didn't answer the phone. I am not saying this to be critical, but rather as part of my job as acting coalition chairperson."
Toporovsky added that, "The Prime Minister was present during all the voting and he was updated on every single vote at which Yomtob was absent. At the end of the day, it was the Prime Minister's decision and I respect it."