Gantz Fires Breakaway MKs

Knesset members Yoaz Hendel and Zvi Hauser seen at the Knesset Plenary Hall on April 29, 2019. (Noam Revkin Fenton/Flash90)

Tzvi Hauser and Yoaz Hendel were paying the price for independence on Monday, as the two Derekh Eretz MKs were read out of the government by Blue and White chief, Defense Minister Benny Gantz.

Gantz said that Hendel and Hauser, who have been serving as communications minister and head of the Knesset foreign affairs and defense committee, respectively, were being dismissed from those positions as a consequence of their decision to join Gideon Saar’s breakaway party, New Hope.

“Hauser and Hendel have chosen their new political home, and their time holding positions on behalf of Blue and White has thus come to an end,” Gantz said in a statement.

Effective immediately, Gantz will fill in as communications minister, though Hauser’s removal as committee chairman requires a Knesset vote and so will take a while longer.

“Derekh Eretz will join the movement of Gideon Saar in the upcoming elections. This is the natural home for hundreds of thousands of supporters of the right, people like us who are searching for a new home. We need an alternative to Netanyahu,” Hendel was quoted by Arutz Sheva as saying.

“The State of Israel is in an ongoing managerial crisis, two years of political chaos that stems solely from Netanyahu’s decision to put his personal good before the good of the state,” he added.

“I did everything I could to form a state unity government. We compromised, we hoped, but Netanyahu did not take this opportunity to get off the stage properly. There is no room for further compromises.

Hauser said: “In the last two years, since I was elected to the Knesset, I have done my best to try and bring unity to Israel, I have done so at the cost of difficult compromises.”

”Yoaz and I, seeing before our eyes a fragmented and disintegrating society, worked to prevent a minority government with the support of the Joint Arab List that would have further shattered cohesion, and we consciously preferred to give the unity government a chance. But Netanyahu chose to continue to divide Israel precisely in a time of unbearable crisis. Unfortunately, this government has failed to do its job,” Hauser added.

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