Report: Likud fears MKs could bolt party to join government

Growing concern within the Likud that MKs - including senior members - could leave party to join the government after budget passes.

Tags: Likud
Arutz Sheva Staff ,

Yisrael Katz speaks with Netanyahu
Yisrael Katz speaks with Netanyahu
Yonatan Sindel/Flash90

There are growing concerns within the Likud party that a number of MKs could bolt the faction and join the Bennett government later this year, according to a report by Israel Hayom Monday morning.

Likud officials were cited by the report saying that they fear that party members, including some senior Likud lawmakers, could jump ship after the coalition passes the state budget.

Amid reports that Interior Minister Ayelet Shaked (Yamina) has been looking to recruit new coalition partners on the Right, Likud officials said the government may try to take advantage of divisions within the party and encourage MKs to bolt.

“That will be the first thing the coalition does after passing the budget,” one official said. “After the budget is passed, they can reach understandings, when the government isn’t under threat and can take its time.”

“People in the coalition will turn to their friends in the Opposition, especially in the Likud, and will make generous offers they’ll be hard pressed to refuse, with the only other option being bored in the opposition. They’ll tell them that this is the end of the era of the Likud, and that instead of disappearing, they can join the government and become important figures in Israeli politics.”

Some Likud officials said that Justice Minister Gideon Sa’ar (New Hope), himself a former Likud member who bolted last year, has long planned the bid to lure away Likud MKs.

“Just this past July the law was passed allowing [a minimum] of four MKs to form a break-away faction, even if they constitute less than a third of the party. That wasn’t for nothing, there was a purpose. Sa’ar was a Likud member, and he still has close ties to members there. This coalition is looking to gain more members, it can’t continue to function on such a narrow majority. They need more votes. But there is no chance of getting support from Smotrich or the Joint Arab List. The only option is with the Likud, and they’ll put in all their effort.”