Outgoing Likud Minister Moshe Kahlon launched a veiled attack on the prime minister’s election rivals Saturday night, saying their lack of experience in the highest echelons of politics disqualified them from the premiership.
Speaking in an interview on Channel 2, Kahlon, the Likud party’s socially-consci
He noted that, despite the current state of upheaval in the Middle East, “everyone without experience, without understanding, comes and want to be prime minister.”
“[Yet being] prime minister is not a child’s game. The prime minister needs experience” and understanding, he said. When asked whether his remarks were aimed at Labor’s leader Shelly Yachimovich and Yesh Atid’s Yair Lapid in particular, he said he meant anyone without experience or responsibility.
Lapid, who founded his Yesh Atid party last year, is a newcomer to the political scene having spent most of his career in journalism. Yachimovich, too, is a journalist-turned-politician who entered the Knesset in the 2006 elections and won command of the Labor Party in last year’s primaries.
Kahlon, one of the few high-ranking Sephardi members of the Likud, also took the opportunity to criticize the Shas party’s ethnically-charged attack campaign on the Likud party as demagogic, calling it was using “yesterday’s weapons for tomorrow’s war.”
“The public no longer buys this nonsense,” he said of Shas leader Aryeh Deri’s claim that the Likud party was one of “Russians and whites.”
He dismissed claims that he has his sights on the premiership should he make a return to politics, but vowed to return to public service as part of the Likud party.
“I will return to public service, in Likud, of course, not as the prime minister,” he said.
Kahlon, who announced his resignation in October, was briefly rumored to be interested in founding his own party, and several polls suggested that he could have won between 10 and 20 seats as head of a new party in the upcoming elections.
He also denied that his resignation in October was because of the budget cuts expected to take effect after the elections, saying he had already notified Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of his intention to take a break from politics a year ago.