Kahlon Predicts More Coalition Changes

YERUSHALAYIM -
Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon (L) speaks with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu at the Knesset last week. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)
Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon (L) speaks with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu at the Knesset last week. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

Israel’s governing coalition may or may not get any bigger, but one way or another, more changes will come.

Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon predicted that either the coalition would expand or there would be a cabinet reshuffle.

“I will continue working to widen the government and I hope the Labor Party will enter. If they do not enter the government, there will have to be a redistribution of the portfolios,” he was quoted as saying by the Jerusalem Post on Wednesday.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu currently holds five ministerial portfolios, including Foreign Affairs and Communications. The High Court recently ruled that he had to relinquish the Health Ministry, which is now headed by United Torah Judaism MK Rabbi Yaakov Litzman, until then the Deputy Health Minister.

Jewish Home chairman Naftali Bennett also told Israel Radio on Tuesday that the matter will be discussed at an upcoming meeting of the forum of coalition party heads.
Bennett also said that he wants the coalition to continue, but not at the price of a Palestinian State, with or without east Yerushalayim as its capital.

The statements follow Netanyahu’s declaration of partial acceptance of the 2002 Saudi peace initiative, and welcoming of Egyptian president Sisi’s offer to help in the peace process.

“I want the government to last until 2019,” Bennett said. “But if someone thinks a government that’s described as right-wing will create a Palestinian state on Highway 6 (the Trans-Israel Highway) and divide Yerushalayim, we won’t accept that.”

Bennet was not happy with the qualified nature of Netanyahu’s endorsement, saying that parts of it were acceptable.

“When someone says there are good elements in the Arab Initiative, there are only three things there – refugees, the division of Yerushalayim, and a return to the 1967 lines. Today, I am the only leader in Israel who completely opposes the establishment of a Palestinian state and surrender of the Land of Israel to the Arabs. We have a duty…not to be silent,” Bennett said.