Senior Likud lawmaker doubles down on criticism of Netanyahu

Former Finance Minister Yisrael Katz refuses to back down on criticism of Netanyahu, but says won't challenge him as Likud chief.

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

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

A senior Likud lawmaker and long-time ally of Opposition Leader Benjamin Netanyahu doubled down Monday on criticism of the former premier.

MK Yisrael Katz, who served as Finance Minister in the last Netanyahu government, refused to walk back his criticism of Netanyahu – or his intimations that he could replace Netanyahu as leader of the Likud – during an interview with Radio 103FM Monday morning, chiding his party’s chairman over his leadership in the 35th government, particularly with regards to Finance Ministry initiatives Katz tried to implement.

“I wanted to see what the Finance Ministry would bring to the government and the Knesset, I waited to see if they’d submit the plans we’d started to work on,” said Katz.

“I won’t take back my criticism of Netanyahu. I believed that I could be elected to lead the Likud and to be elected [as prime minister].”

Despite his criticism, Katz said he would not challenge Netanyahu at present, and backed a mass recruitment drive for the Likud to increase the number of dues-paying members.

“The next big step Netanyahu will join is a mass recruitment campaign of people to the Likud. I call on our new voters to join us, this is the time to increase our strength.”

“We’re working to get Netanyahu elected as prime minister in the near future, because he is the Likud’s candidate and we need 61 MKs to replace the Prime Minister. We’re working to deprive the government of a majority and get the Likud to form a government.”

“I don’t think there’s a majority in the Knesset right now in favor of new elections. There isn’t a single prime minister right now; rather there is a prime minister for economics, one for diplomatic affairs, an Islamic one, and a political one. There isn’t a single official who can decide everything, which is why we see this government as equivocating. We don’t need to hold primaries right now, because Netanyahu was already elected for the next four years.”