Opposition lawmakers are expressing concern that an MK from the Likud may bolt the party and join the Bennett government, restoring the coalition’s majority in the Knesset, Israel Hayom reported Thursday morning.
Earlier this week, haredi MKs discussed their fears of a possible Likud defector at an internal party meeting.
Eventually, the MKs raised the issue with opposition leader Benjamin Netanyahu and senior Likud MK Yariv Levin, asking that they take steps to prevent any such defections from members low on the Likud’s Knesset list.
According to officials who took part in the meeting cited in the Israel Hayom report, opposition members are particularly concerned about Likud MKs who are unlikely to run again in future elections, or who believe their place on the next Likud slate would be too low to secure them a seat in the next Knesset.
One MK mentioned by name during the talks with Netanyahu and Levin was Fateen Mulla, a Druze lawmaker who briefly served in the Knesset following the first round of elections in 2019, lost his seat in the September 2019 election, but regained it in the 2020 and 2021 elections.
“What about Fateen Mulla?” haredi MKs are quoted as asking Netanyahu and Levin.
“Who can say that at this time, in order to pass the budget and extend this government’s term, Ze’ev Elkin or some other senior Coalition official won’t try to tempt someone like Fateen Mulla away from the Likud to join in exchange for a ministerial appointment?”
Both Netanyahu and Levin responded that they believe there is no chance of any defections from the Likud.