Kahlon: Give Us the Tools to Make Changes – Or We Won’t be There

By Hezki Ezra and Elad Benari, INN

Moshe Kahlon

Moshe Kahlon
Kulanu chairman Moshe Kahlon said on Sunday evening that his party’s only wish is to help out the weaker sectors of society, but warned, “If we’re not given the tools to do so, we will not be there (in the coalition -ed.).”

“In recent days, negotiations have been underway, we presented our demands and mind you – nothing has changed. We want one thing – to succeed where others have failed,” he said at a meeting of Kulanu party activists.

“Kulanu is the hope of hundreds of thousands of people in the country who hope that we succeed where others either did not want to succeed or failed. Solutions must be produced and Kulaunu will produce these solutions,” Kahlon continued.

“We are negotiating with clean hands,” he said. “We have not asked for anything, not positions, not to take advantage of this situation, we came with honesty, integrity and humility and said – give us the tools to take care of the disadvantaged populations, the students, the elderly.”

“We asked to receive the directorship of planning in order to design apartments, we asked for the Israel Lands Administration in order to release lands so that we would have where to build. We did not ask for more than that. We asked for tools, not for ministers or ambassadors,” Kahlon said, and added, “I will not go into this trap, whoever wants us as partners will receive us as partners, whoever wants us to take responsibility – we are ready to do so. But give us the power to do so. Do not leave us with the responsibility but without the authority.”

He then issued a veiled threat, saying, “Give us the tools to solve the housing crisis. If we cannot solve the housing crisis when we have the tools to do so, I will not wait to be fired, I will go on my own. We are coming to take action, not to talk. Give us the tools and we will take action. If you do not give us the tools, we won’t be there.”

There have been tensions between the Likud and Kulanu in the aftermath of theelection, in which Kulanu won ten seats.

Last week, Kahlon canceled a meeting with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to discuss the participation of his Kulanu party in Netanyahu’s government.

In a statement, Kulanu said that the cancellation was “due to the political activity that the Likud is engaging in on the tools we need to lower the cost of housing and deal with the high cost of living even before the negotiations between the parties begin,” referring to reports that Netanyahu had promised the chairmanship of the Knesset Finance Committee to United Torah Judaism.

Last week there were reports that Kahlon had agreed to give up the chairmanship of the Finance Committee, which he denied.

On Sunday evening, however, Kulanu released a statement updating about a coalition negotiations meeting with the Likud, which it said “was held in a good atmosphere”.

During the meeting, said Kulanu, the sides “discussed the tools necessary foreconomic growth, to lower housing prices and cost of living, to reduce social disparities and bring about prosperity of the economy and society for the benefit of all citizens of Israel.”

March 30, 2015 | 14 Comments »

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14 Comments / 14 Comments

  1. @ Felix Quigley:
    I do not know if you noticed but really I do not intend to waste time exchanging long missives with you.
    My motto is that if it cannot be said in 15 lines, well, not worth my limited time.
    Netanyahu has a very poor track record regarding his credibility, speeching may be his strength but will hardly lead to solving the Iranian disaster he himself failed to address for years.
    He did not get much of a lift from his very good speech to Congress. Israelis are funny about those things…
    Thread completed as far as I am concerned.

  2. SHmuel

    Come off it. I have been campaigning against total opposition from Antisemites in Europe for 30 years and you reduce this to the insulting Word “propaganda” and anyway isn’t that what we are all doing when it comes down to it “we are propagating an agenda”.

    Back to what I said. Many in Israeli politics minimised at best the key role of Netanyahu in his March 8 action in Congress.

    That is my starting point in these discussions because if that is not understood then a person can never understand what was actually happening pre-election or even what happened during the election.

    So what was happening? Obama is a hater of Israel. He gets this hatred from his background and it is a complex hatred and a complex background that has not really yet been understood.

    One of the strands though is what I call the “Fascist Left” for lack of a better alternative term. Certainly one thread in this cloth is the role of Stalin and Stalinism, that branch of left political practice that has been responsable for so many disasters to the international working class and here because this is Israpundit to Jews. I am thinking here of the post 1967 War situation when the Russian Stalinists turned to the biggest lie ever, that Jews/Israelis are Nazis.

    What was on foot was rapid moves after this traitor wing had defeated Netanyahu backed by Obama and this whole Israel hating machine …to use the state power post election TO CREATE THE PALESTINIAN STATE.

    That also was tied in as well with Obama Iran and the Bomb because the Palestinian State is also central in the Iranian Nuclear Fascist aims as well.

    What I beleive is that the Netanyahu action in Congress on March 8 (that whole week in fact) is what turned the election campaign.

    Up until then the traitor class in Israel were successfully (helped by the Media in Israel with the exception of a few) derailing the discussion into economism.

    Netanyahu in his March 8 speech brought the whole discussion down to earth … and back into focus. It was not really about anything to do with houses and such stuff. It was about if there would be any Jews around to want houses.
    The discussion on houses IN THAT CONTEXT was the most reactionary discussion it was possible to have.

    Netanyahu was having none of it. He went to Congress and talked about existence. That is he talked essentially about Iran and the overall Jihad against the Jews.

    In other words the leadership of Netanyahu in that situation was IMMENSE.

    If people cannot stop, accept the truth of this, then there is no moving forward at all.

    You can only move forweard if you move forward from a firm and truthful foundation.

    You have to have that foundation. It is not there in what you write SHmuel. You are attacking Netanyahu every chance without having accepted what he achieved on March 8.

    Also I disagree with Arnold here. I have agreed with him much of late.

    Kahlon has not changed one bit. He is such a reactionary. He too wanted to talk only about “economics” and he too is part of this Livni/Herzog political tendency of destruction of Israel.

    And he is going to obviously remain there a huge threat as he threatens to throw the toys out of the pram and bring the whole thing down again AT ANY POINT DOWN THE LINE.

    As others have said he has got this power today. But do not ever call him anything other than a total opportunist who was allied with the anti-Netanyahu traitors in Israel and still is in my opinión.

  3. @ mar55:
    My comment should not reflect on Kohalon’s goodwill, not at all. He is just not up to the task as much as many others up there. We need trustworthy and high level leaders but due to intentional blocking by the old “elites” the best people never gets there.
    Things must change.

  4. @ SHmuel HaLevi 2:
    I realise you have long experience in Israeli politics but donot forget I have long experience in politics

    Only if Quigley calls communist propaganda experience in politics.

  5. “We are negotiating with clean hands,” he said. “We have not asked for anything, not positions, not to take advantage of this situation, we came with honesty, integrity and humility and said – give us the tools to take care of the disadvantaged populations, the students, the elderly.”

    “We asked to receive the directorship of planning in order to design apartments, we asked for the Israel Lands Administration in order to release lands so that we would have where to build. We did not ask for more than that. We asked for tools, not for ministers or ambassadors,” Kahlon said, and added, “I will not go into this trap, whoever wants us as partners will receive us as partners, whoever wants us to take responsibility – we are ready to do so. But give us the power to do so. Do not leave us with the responsibility but without the authority.”

    He then issued a veiled threat, saying, “Give us the tools to solve the housing crisis. If we cannot solve the housing crisis when we have the tools to do so, I will not wait to be fired, I will go on my own. We are coming to take action, not to talk. Give us the tools and we will take action. If you do not give us the tools, we won’t be there.”

    Fairly strong stuff. But I sense here a level of integrity rarely seen in Israeli politics. This is the kind of talk one expects from someone who suffers fools rarely, and meaningless bullshit in government even less. That statement is something that could have been lifted only from the pages of Ayn Rand’s epic novel, The Fountainhead, about the uncompromising modern architect Howard Roark, who dynamited a public housing complex because the backers had broken their promise to him not to change or even interfere with his architectural design.

    Could he in fact pull it off and reduce the price of housing in Israel to a level a lot more affordable to most Israeli working families? I think so, if he can put together a measure of control over the construction planning and land acquisition, along with effectuating certain changes in the way building construction is financed in Israel. In any case, if he comes into Netanyahu’s new cabinet, he probably will keep his word and stay out of all the other policy fights while concentrating on keeping his promise about the major changes in housing costs.

    As for filling in the entire Mediterranean coastline of Israel with urban development, that’s more hyperbole than analysis. Kahlon is on record that two policy red lines he will not cross — his own words — are losing Israeli control over all of united Jerusalem, and keeping Israeli control over the whole Jordan River valley. It takes Jewish populations in place to accomplish both goals, and Kahlon can change the housing costs arithmetic, the time will come when it will pay dividends in keeping Israeli control over both Jerusalem and Area C, which are pre-requisites for getting rid of El Fatah control over Shomron and Yehuda, hopefully replacing that gang with local autonomy agreements made by Israel with the hamulas and other major families in the main Arab cities comprising Area A.

    And in any case, Netanyahu needs a coalition now, and I surely cannot think any of you on Israpundit want to see him pushed into a coalition with Lapid on grounds that Kahlon is too arrogant for you or otherwise doesn’t suit your fancies.

    Arnold Harris
    Mount Horeb WI

  6. @ SHmuel HaLevi 2:

    I disagree he is an ambitious populist and demagogue… Putting the treasury in his hands is bad enough giving him the tools for more power can be toxic. What do you want to see wall to wall building and people from Haifa to Ashkellon?

  7. For a long time I heard that there is much poverty in Israel while the gap between the very rich and very poor is among the largest among developed countries. I also heard there are over 10,000 millionaires in Israel and over a dozen billionaires. This problem is not new and the entire Israeli government, the leftist media and the leftist court have all failed the people. Netanyahu wants Abbas to recognize Israel as a “Jewish” state. How ironic when the Israeli government is so corrupt and in violation of so many moral principles of Judaism. I can understand that Kulanu has run out of patience and rejects any more political tricks to delay building affordable housing and taking other measure for the poor.

  8. SHmuel

    I disagree somewhat but first of all I send my commiserations on that sad loss you mentioned elsewhere…I am unhappy about the general positions being taken up towards Netanyahu (I read a wide range) in general and that too is expressed in your post above. There are not many on these websites who are in a position to make any demands on Netanyahu if they already have not a record of noting what a great achievement Netanyahu made in his March 8 speech to Congress which without any doubt in my mind was solely responsable for the swing in the election poll which in turn was the keeping out of power Herzog and Livni (which in turn since everything is causative here so in defiance of good style I keep repeating “in turn”!) kept Obama and these EU Imperialsits from making the most rapid advances on the sovereignty of Israel.

    This man who you talk about here, I admit my poor knowledge of such people and your superior knowledge, but I agree with Ted’s first comment which is that this guy has not so much Netanyahu but Israeli patriots over a barrel. Sad but that is just the way it is.

    No matter how incompetent this guy is he seems to me to have the power.

    You and others on Israpundit have really not understood the life and death nature of the battle in Congress on that fateful day and the heroic role of Netanyahu in that political struggle.

    So really having only given Netanyahu a kind of grudging support both before that speech to Congress and after you are in no position to make any demands at all on Netanyahu.Nor anybody else.

    I realise you have long experience in Israeli politics but donot forget I have long experience in politics

    Even if this carácter becomes in charge of Israeli economical matters that is as nothing compared to what would have happened if Livni and Herzog with Obama were now in charge of the Iraeli Government

  9. @ Ted Belman:
    Not as competent as Lapid… Yet posting far better intentions than Lapid. If Netanyahu guides him closely he may be able to do a fair job. The problem is that Netanyahu has his hands full as it is.

  10. Kohalon, who I know in person from while he was being polished a bit up from the ranks of the Likud, is completely incompetent to operate the Finances of Israel.
    Lapid was also untrained to perform that task.
    Kohalon should be in the coalition but under strict control.
    “UNITY” with Hertzog and Livni. Netanyahu must be sternly warned that his Barak, Lapid and Livni hat tricks are over. Must not try again to betray the voters.
    He must FIX his failures on Iran and Gaza.