Former Justice Minister berates Netanyahu | Daily News

Former Justice Minister berates Netanyahu

 Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, right, speaks with then Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked in the Knesset, December 21, 2016.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, right, speaks with then Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked in the Knesset, December 21, 2016.

Senior Yamina MK Ayelet Shaked described Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his wife, Sara, as “dictators” and “tyrants” with a “lust for power,” and said the premier only cares about his ongoing corruption trial, in bombshell recordings aired on Monday.

The recordings were played on Channel 12, as Netanyahu was engaged in a last-minute attempt to draw Yamina into a right-wing coalition, with his deadline for forming a government set to expire on Tuesday night.

According to Maariv, the comments by Shaked, a former justice minister, were made earlier Monday during a meeting with national religious rabbis, one of whom chose to record her. Channel 12 did not specify who she was talking with. Shaked has been reported to prefer a coalition with Netanyahu over a unity government with the centrist Yesh Atid party, in which the chairman of her slate, Naftali Bennett, would serve first as premier in a rotational agreement. But Monday’s recordings revealed that she was still prepared to back a unity government if efforts to form a right-wing coalition failed to bear fruit.

Shaked could be heard in the recording insisting that Yamina would be “thrilled” if Netanyahu manages to convince Bezalel Smotrich, the chairman of the far-right Religious Zionism party, to join a right-wing government reliant on the outside support of the Islamist Ra’am party. She said another option would be for Netanyahu to ask President Reuven Rivlin to transfer the government-forming mandate to Bennett, claiming that the Yamina chair would have an easier time forming a right-wing government with Likud and could even bring along Benny Gantz’s Blue and White as well as Gideon Sa’ar’s New Hope — both of whom have vowed not to sit with the premier.

Shaked further asserted that if Bennett receives endorsements from right-wing lawmakers to form a government, “he won’t go left.”

“But if [Netanyahu] gives the mandate to Bennett, and we fail to form a right-wing government because Gideon and Gantz [don’t budge], we are not prepared to head to another election,” she said, speculating that the center-left could end up forming a coalition with the help of the majority-Arab parties if another national vote is called. (Times of Israel)