Religious Affairs Minister Matan Kahana said Saturday he believed fellow Yamina party member Idit Silman could still return to the coalition after her surprise resignation last week deprived the government of its parliamentary majority.
“With God’s help, Idit could still return,” Kahana told Channel 12 news.
“You know, the world of politics is pretty crazy… Nothing has happened that truly justifies her departure… I think that once the government returns [from the Knesset recess] and starts getting things done on the basis of its founding principles, Idit will see that we are doing good things, protecting right-wing values, without provoking each other,” he said.
Still, he added, the coalition “is certainly not in good shape; it’s not a minor hiccup.”
Silman’s Wednesday announcement that she was quitting the government, which she said was due to the “harming” of Jewish identity in Israel, means that the coalition no longer has a majority. It has the backing of 60 members of the 120-seat Knesset, with 54 in the pro-Netanyahu opposition and another 6 opposition MKs in the Joint List of mainly Arab parties.
Silman said she would now work to establish a right-wing coalition in the current Knesset, but denied reports that she has struck a deal to join Likud.
Kahana said Thursday he was “praying for the continued existence of this important government and doing my best to ensure this happens.”
In a Facebook post, Kahana said the act of forming the government was “courageous,” with ideologically divergent parties coming together for the good of the country.
“We all knew we could not fulfill our deepest ideological wishes” within it, he notes, but moved ahead with it “in order to save Israel from the place it was careening toward.”