MK and former Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked describes various scenarios for unity government: ‘Politicians need to come to their senses.’
Arutz Sheva staff,
Erel Segal and Judy Shalom Nir Mozes interviewed MK and former Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked (Yamina) on Tuesday on 103 FM, asking for her take on the current political impasse.
Shaked asserted her belief that there are many realistic scenarios in which a government can be formed, but she specifically ruled out the option of a minority government supported by the Joint Arab List from the outside.
“In my opinion, the feasibility of establishing such a government is close to zero,” she said, adding her belief that “the very fact that they are seeking to form such a government is a sign of their moral bankruptcy. Most of the MKs of the Joint Arab List don’t believe that Israel should be a Jewish and democratic state.”
She added that “The law states that only those who believe in the State of Israel as a Jewish and democratic state can sit in the Knesset,” and singled out former Supreme Court President Aharon Barak for criticism on this point: “It all began with Barak, who disregarded this clause.”
Referring back to her term as Justice Minister, she noted that, “Judges are appointed to judge according to the law, not according to their own [possibly biased] interpretations … The judges that I appointed [to the Supreme Court] now form a conservative bloc there, so that today, there are four judges out of the total nine who think that we should disqualify Heba Yazbak.”
(Yazbak had been disqualified by the Central Elections Committee from running in the last elections, due to statements she had made in praise of terrorists that could be considered to constitute support for terrorism. However, the Supreme Court overturned the Committee’s decision, allowing her to run, and she was elected to the 23rd Knesset as a representative of the Balad party, a member of the Joint Arab List. Four Supreme Court judges dissented from the ruling, including the two (Judges Yosef Elron and David Mintz) that Shaked appointed when Justice Minister.)
Shaked stressed that she made a clear distinction in her mind between the MKs of the Joint Arab List and the Arab citizens of the State of Israel. “There is a difference between Israeli Arabs and those who represent them in the Knesset,” she said. “[While I was Justice Minister,] I did things for [Arab citizens] that no one did before. I was the first person to set up a court in an Arab city, and I appointed the first-ever female Qadi [magistrate] in a Sharia court here.”
All the same, Shaked was insistent that Joint Arab List MKs should not be part of any government, either from within or without. “We can establish a unity government [without Joint Arab List support if the large parties] come to their senses and realize that the concept of a minority government is dead in the water … Either Blue and White can come to its senses and form a unity government, or Amir Peretz can do so. Why should the Labor party be the lackey of Blue and White? They would receive senior positions in any such government.”
In such an event, who does she think should be prime minister first in a rotation agreement? “Of course it should be Netanyahu. After all, he has the support of 58 MKs … In addition, he has no problem sitting with [Peretz or Gantz]. It is they who are disqualifying him, not the other way around.”
When asked about the possibility of forming a right-wing majority government, with the missing three MKs coming from defections from the other bloc, Shaked said, “I won’t discuss meetings I hold with politicians in the media. It’s no secret that we wanted [MKs Hendel and Hauser] to cross over [from Blue & White to Likud], and of course I think that [the Likud] is their natural home, but at the moment they have said that they remain in Blue & White.”
In conclusion, MK Shaked noted that “MKs generally get along well with each other, despite the fact that we often attack each other in the media … I hope that politicians will take responsibility now, and get us out of the mess we’re in, because we have a country to run.”