JERUSALEM (VINnews) — Coalition leader Idit Silman (Yamina) resigned Wednesday morning, effectively leaving the Bennett-Lapid government without a majority and at the mercy of the opposition for passing legislation. In a letter to Prime Minister Bennett, Silman wrote that the reason for her abrupt departure was that “I tried hard but unfortunately could not support harming the Jewish identity of the state of Israel and the people of Israel.”
In recent days, Silman had tried unsuccessfully to prevent Chametz from entering hospitals in Israel. Health Minister Nitzan Horwitz had insisted that hospitals should not check visitors for Chametz in accordance with a ruling by the Supreme Court but Silman said that the ruling distorts the Jewish character of the state of Israel.
Silman said that “as one who comes from the world of cooperative benefit, I toiled hard for the current coalition. Not everything is known since I worked quietly. I cannot continue in this manner due to the values and the place I come from. I am ceasing my membership in the coalition and will continue to persuade my friends to come home and establish a right-wing government. I know I’m not the only one who feels this way.” Silman may have been referring to Nir Orbach, another member of Bennett’s party who is unsatisfied with the coalition and may also be ready to leave.
Right-wing politicians welcomed Silman’s move, including opposition leader Netanyahu who welcomed her back into the national camp. Silman’s announcement gave new impetus to the organizers of a mass anti-government demonstration Wednesday evening, who invited her to speak there. The demonstration has been endorsed by leading Religious Zionist rabbis including Rabbi Aviner and Rabbi Druckman.
Left-wing politician Yair Golan called Silman a “political opportunist of the worst kind” but admitted that “this is a real crisis.” Golan called on the Likud to join the government and “save us from the corrupt, extremist chareidim.”