The Yamina party announced this morning that it would not be part of the government currently being formed. "It looks like a left-wing government led by Netanyahu in almost every matter that is important to us," Yamina MK Bezalel Smotrich, who is at present minister of transport, said in an interview with the Kol Yisrael Reshet Bet radio station.
"We will not agree to be political partners for things that we disagree with. We are not a fig leaf and a fifth wheel. We have a year and a half until Netanyahu leaves the stage," Smotrich said. He also stated that his party would not split, and that no part of it would join the government. "He made attempts to dismantle us, but he won't succeed," he said.
Likud leader Benjamin Netanyahu, whom the president has asked to form a government after he received endorsements from 72 members of the Knesset, offered Yamina a senior portfolio such as education plus other more minor government roles, but the party sees this as an insult.
In a press release, the party stated, "In the light of the make-up of the government and its emerging policies as a left-wing government headed by Netanyahu, and in the light of the gross contempt that the prime minister has displayed towards Yamina and its voters, the Yamina party has decided to serve the public in the opposition for the term of the next government and to fight from there for the sake of the nationalist camp.
"The decision was made after repeated attempts to bring the coalition negotiations to a conclusion with Likud and Prime Minister Netanyahu, who chose to break up the right-wing block and the partnership with Yamina."
The LIkud party stated in response to the announcement: "Had Yamina received another portfolio, would they have viewed it as a right-wing government? This the first government in the country's history that will impose sovereignty on Judea and Samaria, and it is regrettable that Yamina will not be part of this only because of internal battles within it over how to divide up portfolios. We hope that Yamina will come to its senses, will demonstrate responsibility to the nation, and will join a government that will lead a historic move in the history of Zionism."
Published by Globes, Israel business news - en.globes.co.il - on May 10, 2020
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