To the chorus of ministers who remain rock-solid in their support of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, add Transportation Minister Yisrael Katz. Bandied in the media as a possible replacement for Netanyahu if the latter is forced to resign in the wake of the criminal investigations against him.
Katz dismissed that notion in an interview on Hadashot News Motzoei Shabbos. “I can tell you with full confidence that the Prime Minister is doing his job in a wonderful manner, and the only thing that drives his decisions are how they will affect the welfare and security of Israel.” Katz added that he “totally rejected” the notion that Netanyahu should resign while the investigations against him in the various scandals he has been implicated in continue.
Police investigations were fine, but “the only person empowered to guide the Prime Minister and other ministers is the State Attorney. Only he can take materials produced by an investigation and make a decision based on those materials. He can decide to indict, or, as I and many others hope, to drop the cases. But the incitement against Netanyahu is unacceptable – like when Zionist Camp chairman Avi Gabay called Netanyahu a ‘creeping disease’ that ‘spreads throughout the body.’ He should be ashamed for saying such things.
Katz joins other ministers who in recent days have said that they remain loyal to Netanyahu. Both Jewish Home chairman Naftali Bennett and Kulanu head Moshe Kahlon have publicly backed Netanyahu. On Wednesday, Kahlon reiterated that after it was announced that former Communications Ministry Director General Shlomo Filber had signed an agreement with the state to testify against Netanyahu. “For now I am not changing my mind, and will remain in the coalition,” he told Kulanu MKs at a meeting Wednesday. On Thursday Bennett said that “we are continuing on as usual. As far as I can tell the Prime Minister is doing his job, and the investigations have not affected his ability to run the country. We hope that he will emerge from the situation without a moral or criminal stain, for his sake and the sake of the country.”