The Yamina party’s MK Idit Silman clarified on Sunday that she has no intention of backing down from her dramatic decision last week to leave the coalition, a move that ended the government’s knife-wielding majority in the Knesset, paralyzed its ability to pass legislation and left the close. potentially collapse.
“My decision to end my time in the coalition was based on values, and therefore it is final,” she said in a statement.
The apostate MK called on his colleagues in the coalition and in the right-wing Yamina faction led by Prime Minister Naftali Bennett “to express the views of the majority of the Israeli public and to establish a national Zionist government in this Knesset.”
Her statement came a day after another Yamina member, Minister of Religious Affairs Matan Kahana, said he hoped Silman would reverse his move.
“With God’s help, Idit could still return,” Kahana told Channel 12 News.
Silman announced his surprise departure from the coalition, but not from the Knesset last week, saying the government was “damaging” Israel’s Jewish identity.
Her resignation came days after she publicly criticized Health Minister Nitzan Horowitz for his insistence that hospitals comply with the rules that allow hametz – acid products banned for religiously observant Jews over Easter – to be brought into the facilities.
In recent days, Horowitz has reportedly sought to meet with Silman to reach agreement on the issue of hametz in hospitals, according to Kan radio. According to Kan, Meretz’s party leader stated in a letter to Silman that he would be willing to go to great lengths to reach a compromise on this issue.
Kan also said the health minister met with a senior Yamina politician and told them his Meretz party is willing to do everything it can to ensure the coalition does not collapse.
However, political observers and Silman herself have said that her departure was not about the hametz issue itself, but about what it represented – her sense that Yamina no longer represented its core values. It is also believed that intense right-wing pressure on Silman and her family played a role.
Silman’s resignation left the government on the brink of collapse with only 60 of 120 seats. In the opposition, there are 54 MKs led by MK Benjamin Netanyahu plus another 6 MKs on the joint list of primarily Arab parties who are opponents of Netanyahu. Thus, despite the fact that the government now lacks a majority, it is not immediately apparent that there is a majority to overthrow it.
The leader of the Commonwealth has said he will not commit to joining a no-confidence vote as it will help Netanyahu in his goal of returning to power as prime minister.
Silman’s call for a new government in the current Knesset will require that several additional members of Yamina, as well as other right-wing factions in the coalition, such as New Hope, also step down and join the right-wing opposition parties to reach the required majority of 61 mandates.