‘Netanyahu will pay for scorning Rivlin’
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‘Netanyahu will pay for scorning Rivlin’

Sources close to stalwart Likud parliamentarian warn PM will regret decision to remove him from Knesset speaker’s seat

Adiv Sterman is a breaking news editor at The Times of Israel.

Former Knesset speaker Reuven Rivlin, left, and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attend a committee meeting at the Knesset in 2011 (photo credit: Miriam Alster/Flash90)
Former Knesset speaker Reuven Rivlin, left, and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attend a committee meeting at the Knesset in 2011 (photo credit: Miriam Alster/Flash90)

Former Knesset speaker MK Reuven Rivlin does not plan to go silently into the night. Following news reports on Sunday that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had decided to not re-appoint the longtime legislator to the post of Knesset speaker when the next government is sworn in, sources close to Rivlin said “Netanyahu will pay a heavy personal price for his betrayal.”

“If Bibi thinks that we will stand at attention and sing the anthem while we’re being robbed in broad daylight, he’s wrong,” the sources told Maariv. “[Netanyahu’s] actions will lead to new elections in which he won’t lead the Likud.

In a meeting between the two on Sunday, Netanyahu indicated that he did not intend to support Rivlin’s candidacy and suggested that he would replace Rivlin with a different candidate from their Likud faction.

A source within the Likud party said Netanyahu would throw his weight behind MK Yuli Edelstein, the former public diplomacy and diaspora affairs minister.

Likud MKs were slated to vote on the matter on Monday.

Likud activists said that following his conversation with Netanyahu, Rivlin — who served as speaker in the past two Knessets — is considering a run for mayor of Jerusalem, a job that has reportedly been a lifelong dream of his.

Likud MK Tzipi Hotovely said Sunday that removing Rivlin was a bad choice, remarking that he had done well as speaker in the last term, Israel Radio reported.

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