Yariv Levin quoted telling coalition colleagues: ‘We need to be smart. We’ll pass the legislation later on’

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu with Justice Minister Yariv Levin, in the Knesset on February 22, 2023. (Yonatan Sindel/ Flash90)
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu with Justice Minister Yariv Levin, in the Knesset on February 22, 2023. (Yonatan Sindel/ Flash90)

Channel 12 quotes from what it says were coalition leaders’ discussions with Prime Minister Netanyahu at a meeting this morning, after the prime minister had apparently told them he intended to pause the legislation:

Religious Zionism leader Bezalel Smotrich: “I also didn’t want to halt [the overhaul legislation], but I think we have to leave [this meeting] with the statement that keeping the government together is more important than the legislation.”

Otzma Yehudit leader Itamar Ben Gvir: “We are letting the anarchists win.”

Smotrich: “We’re not letting them win. We’ll only halt the legislation for a few months.”

Ben Gvir: “If we don’t pass this legislation, we have no interest in this government; it’s not right-wing.”

Justice Minister Yariv Levin, the architect of the overhaul legislation: “You’re all correct, but we need to be smart. We’ll pass the legislation later on, but not now. We have people in Likud who are opposed; [I’m] not sure that we’d have 61 [votes in the 120-seat Knesset]. The people want reform, and they will get it, but we also have to look at what’s going on outside [with the anti-overhaul protests, etc.]; it can’t be ignored.”

 

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