Kahlon tells PM best for country to go to elections, after Liberman quits
It would be best for Israel to go to an election as soon as possible, Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon said in a meeting with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Thursday, The Jerusalem Post reports.
“In the current situation, the right thing for the citizens of Israel and the Israeli economy is to go to an election as soon as possible,” Kahlon said.
According to Kahlon, the stability necessary at this time is unattainable as long as there is political uncertainty, and going to an election in order to form a new, strong and stable government would be the most responsible thing to do.
Kahlon also offered to coordinate the official dissolution of the Knesset and selecting a date for the national election.
Earlier Thursday, Liberman tendered his resignation from the Defense Ministry in a letter to Netanyahu.
His resignation will take effect in 48 hours, and Netanyahu will automatically retain the portfolio, unless and until he appoints someone else as defense minister.
Liberman submitted the letter the morning after a press conference in the Knesset, in which he announced he and his Yisrael Beytenu party would be leaving the coalition, following a ceasefire with Hamas that he said “cannot be interpreted in any way other than a capitulation to terrorism.”
“This will severely harm our security in the long run. The response that we gave to the 500 rockets shot from Gaza was not enough, to say the least. The South should come first. Our weakness is being broadcast to other fronts,” he said.
Following the resignation, the coalition will be left with a one-seat majority. Bayit Yehudi demanded that Education Minister Naftali Bennett be appointed defense minister, or they too will leave the coalition, triggering an election.
On Wednesday, Netanyahu began speaking to the heads of all coalition parties, in an attempt to try to keep their alliance stable.
With Liberman’s resignation, Yisrael Beytenu MK Yulia Malinovsky will automatically be removed from the Knesset. She became a legislature 2.5 years ago as part of the Norwegian Law, by which a minister may resign from the Knesset, allowing someone to take his or her place, but if the minister leaves the government, he or she gets a seat in the Knesset again, removing the newcomer.
Also Thursday, Likud MK Jacky Levy resigned from the Knesset, after being elected Mayor of Bet Shean. He will be replaced by Osnat Mark, bringing the number of women in this Knesset up to a record 36.