In recording, finance minister says he’s quitting, later claims it was a joke

Moshe Kahlon taped telling resident of southern Israel that ’98 percent’ of his orders are ignored

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, left, with Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon during a press conference at the Prime Minister's Office in Jerusalem on October 9, 2018. (Hadas Parush/Flash90)
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, left, with Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon during a press conference at the Prime Minister's Office in Jerusalem on October 9, 2018. (Hadas Parush/Flash90)

Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon was recorded telling a resident of southern Israel he has decided to quit because “98 percent” of his orders are ignored, in what the treasury head later maintained was a joke.

According to Channel 13, which aired the recording on Tuesday, Kahlon made the remark on the phone with a business owner from the Gaza periphery, who was protesting the government holdup of funds designed to compensate for a flareup in violence from the enclave.

“Listen, you want to hear something? Ninety-eight percent of my instructions are not implemented,” Kahlon says in the recording.

“So why are you a minister?” asked the business owner.

“That’s why I’m quitting,” Kahlon replied.

In a later statement to the network, Kahlon said the remark was “said humorously,” denying his intention to resign.

Kahlon has served as finance minister since 2015. A former head of the Kulanu party, he is running on a joint ticket with Likud in the upcoming election in two weeks’ time.

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