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Kahlon says he ‘paid a price’ but it was worth preventing elections

Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon defends the deal he made with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to effectively cripple Israel’s new public broadcaster, saying that it prevented elections that would have harmed the country.

“If there were elections, none of you would be sitting here,” he tells an audience of young couples at a ceremony marking a new housing project in Beit Shemesh. “You would have had to wait a year for a campaign and an election and then the government to be formed. And in elections, you know how you go in but you don’t know how you come out. No one knows.”

His comments appeared to be directed at Netanyahu, who was also attending the ceremony. The prime minister has threatened to “go to elections” if Kahlon did not accede to his demands over the new broadcaster.

Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon (L) and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at a signing ceremony for an agreement to build thousands of new apartments in Beit Shemesh, April 3, 2017. (Hadas Parush/Flash90)
Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon (L) and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at a signing ceremony for an agreement to build thousands of new apartments in Beit Shemesh, April 3, 2017. (Hadas Parush/Flash90)

According to the deal signed last week, in which Kahlon was largely regarded to have capitulated, the new broadcaster will be stripped entirely of its news division and a separate broadcast entity will be established to deal with all current affairs offerings.

“The responsibility that we showed was required and needed, and you know what, I paid a price for it,” Kahlon said. “But when I see the young couples, I know it’s worth paying the price for them. Not everyone thinks so.”

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