The Blue and White party accused Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu of “buying” Zehut leader Moshe Feiglin’s support in his legal battles by giving him a ministry, The Times of Israel reported on Thursday.
Earlier in the day, Netanyahu and Feiglin announced that the latter will drop out of the election campaign in return for a ministerial post and support for parts of Zehut’s platform.
“Netanyahu only cares about Netanyahu, and this time he bought Feiglin in exchange for immunity,” the party charged in a statement. “Israelis understand the choice is between an immunity government that is only concerned with Netanyahu or a broad government under Blue and White, who will look out for all Israeli citizens.”
Netanyahu has denied reports that he has privately made support for granting him immunity from prosecution in the corruption cases pending against him a condition for joining a Likud-led coalition in September.
Democratic Camp MK Tamar Zandberg wrote a letter to Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit urging him to investigate possible breaches of election laws in the agreement.
“The offer [from Likud] raises the very real concern that it amounts to election bribery, and perhaps also fraud,” she wrote.
Foreign Minister Yisrael Katz (Likud) countered in a tweet saying: “What hypocrisy and contempt for the public from Blue-and-White heads. They are now attacking Netanyahu for the agreement he made with Feiglin “the extremist,” but a few months ago, on the eve of the previous election, they spoke publicly! about a possible coalition with Feiglin “the Liberal,” which would allow them to form a government.”
On the right, the news was welcomed, as it held the promise of thousands of Zehut votes going to right wing parties instead of being wasted had Zehut not passed the electoral threhold.
“And now, when the picture has become clear that the Zehut party will not run in the upcoming elections, I call on you, the free members of the Zehut party, to join us.