MK David Bitan (Likud) blasted the chairman of his party, Benjamin Netanyahu, in an interview with Channel 12 News on Friday, criticizing the way in which the negotiations to form a new government are being conducted.
"I don't understand why they messed around with Smotrich for two weeks, they simple gave him what he wants and it seems to me that he got even more than what he wanted. It was inappropriate, the Likud was harmed, the country was harmed - but this is the negotiation, unfortunately," said Bitan.
"The result of these negotiations is that we gave up a lot of things - and even within the ministerial portfolios we received, we gave them a share, not only to Smotrich, but also to United Torah Judaism and Shas," he charged. "Even in the Knesset we gave up most of the important committees - I don't know how do we intend to have an impact."
"I think that this negotiation from the point of view of the Likud is inappropriate, we are giving up all the positions of influence. Secondly, the fact that Netanyahu does not call or consult with anyone - this is a real problem. He started the negotiations from a position of giving up," continued Bitan.
Asked about the fact that Likud members for the most part do not criticize Netanyahu for his conduct, he said: "This is the method - Netanyahu tells everyone 'you will be ministers' when there are only 18 ministers for Likud - and then everyone waits for a decision, no one speaks out in this situation."
Regarding the fast-tracked legislation that Netanyahu is planning to pass which would eliminate the possibility of MKs splitting within a faction, Bitan said, "What message is Netanyahu sending here? 'I will decide what I want - and I don't trust you to stay in the Likud.' We remained in the Likud even when we were in the opposition and supported and strengthened it. I suggest to Netanyahu that he should be afraid not of those who have been in Likud since the beginning, but of those who joined the party only when they got a ministerial role. Netanyahu is afraid…but the only ones blackmailing him are the other parties. We expect him to look after the Likud."
(Israel National News' North American desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Israel National News articles, however, is Israeli time.)