Bezalel Smotrich and Benjamin Netanyahu
Bezalel Smotrich and Benjamin NetanyahuHaim Twito

Religious Zionism chairman Bezalel Smotrich, one of the leaders of the pro-Netanyahu right-wing bloc, understands the position that he has reached in the past year and therefore is careful to broadcast loyalty to his partners and to opposition head Benjamin Netanyahu. But in a candid recording that was revealed on Sunday by Kan 11 News, made in the past, he is heard saying what he really thinks about the man who stands at the head of the right-wing bloc.

"If I wanted to take votes away from Bibi, I would have to attack him ruthlessly. He's a liar, the son of a liar. He didn't want to go with the United Arab List? He so much so wanted to. I was the only one who stood in his way, I would have gained two seats. I need to set the idea that this is taboo on the right. I toe the line, I don't lie when I'm being interviewed. I say that I don't deal with things that aren't important," the Religious Zionism chairman can be heard saying.

Smotrich, who was deep in the deliberations and was pressured by Netanyahu to allow the formation of a government with the United Arab Party, explains what was behind his opposition to a partnership with the Arabs. "We did a lot for the Arabs, but that was done by Jews, not the Islamic Movement. I take responsibility for the Arab community, not for the United Arab List or the Joint Arab List. We are Jews, it's a huge difference. We will give funding to the authorities right away," Smotrich added.

Smotrich's criticism can be heard throughout the conversation. The former Transportation Minister refers to the concessions that Netanyahu was willing to make for the United Arab List and why he goes along with the narrative that the Likud pushes, even though he claims it is false.

"Even if he (Netanyahu) were willing to give a little less, it doesn't make a difference once he agrees to form a government with them, since in the end, he depends on them. So what difference does it make? In the beginning, he would have given them less and then he would have given them everything because otherwise they would topple him and bring on elections."

Smotrich, who has less than friendly relationships with Ayelet Shaked, Naftali Bennett, and other members of the current government, mentions an interesting meeting with his former partners during the talks with Netanyahu. "The day after my speech, I sat with Ayelet Shaked, who asked me 'why are you going against us?' I told her that Naftali didn't sell his life to go with the Arabs. Because he's irresponsible and is willing to sell his grandmother, we also have to be?"

The Religious Zionism chairman also mentioned one of the more volatile issues in Israeli politics: the opposition to Netanyahu, including among the right and the religious. Smotrich revealed that he too is not a big fan of Netanyahu personally, and he foresees that he will end his rule after a conviction in court or some other fashion.

"Netanyahu won't stay here forever. Physics and biology will do their thing. At some point, he will be convicted in court, I know, some patience. There is no doubt that Netanyahu's a pain, ok? But now choose between two pains. Netanyahu's decision is the big deal, so I should give up everything?"

Religious Zionism's comment on the report: "Religious Zionism chairman MK Bezalel Smotrich and former prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu work together and together successfully led the battle to topple the Lapid-Bennett government with the Moslem Brotherhood. It's no surprise that someone would take the opportunity to try to drive a spike into the nationalist camp out of panic and fear that the right will return to rule. It won't help, we will continue to work together until we win and form a nationalist, Zionist, and Jewish government."