Silman Urges her Friends to Quit Coalition Publicly
On Monday, Idit Silman, the Yamina MK who resigned from the coalition, gave her first televised interview after the incident. She said that she had decided to quit the coalition because the current government was gradually eroding the Jewish identity of Israel. According to the former coalition whip, the government has violated a number of issues related to state and religion and added that no one was stopping it from occurring from within. Silman highlighted the issues on which the current government had tried to enact reform, such as the Temple Mount, the Reform Western Wall, the Torah study and Kashrut conversion.
Silman said that no one was standing up against the Yisrael Beytenu party. Last month, she resigned from the coalition after she had criticized Nitzan Horowitz, the Health Minister, publicly for his insistence that hospitals follow the rules that allow hametz to be provided by facilities. These are leavened products that religiously observant Jews forbid over the Passover holiday. This criticism had been noted by many because as the coalition’s whip, Silman’s job was to ensure that all lawmakers remain on the same page and so, she did not usually engage in public spats. In the interview, Silman also clarified that she hadn’t been offered anything for quitting the coalition.
According to reports, she denied any offers being made, even though she had had a meeting with Benjamin Netanyahu, the leader of the opposition, hours before she resigned. However, she did disclose that she had received a good deal for staying. The former whip said that she could have gotten anything she wanted, but had chosen to follow her heart and resigned from the ‘job of her life’. Media reports had indicated that Likud had engineered Silman’s departure from the coalition. They had agreed to give her the health minister position and the number 10 position, if they form the next government.
Silman said that she had received immense criticism and leaving the coalition had required a lot of courage. According to Silman, those who had been behind the criticism had been speaking from a place of pain after the Yamina party did not hold up its election promises. While Bennet has not spoken against Silman’s decision publicly, he had informed his lawmakers earlier in the month that she had decided to quit because of the immense pressure she had faced from the opposition. He said that for months she had suffered from persecution and verbal harassment from Bezalel Smotrich, the head of the Religious Zionist party, and supporters of Benjamin Netanyahu.
She had also received threats because she as well as the Yamina party had been accused of betraying their voters by choosing to join the coalition that ousted Netanyahu after ruling for 12 years. She stated that she and her family had gotten explicit threats and she also revealed that she had been harassed physically at a gas station last year. In fact, she said that she had also encountered sexism from lawmakers in the opposition.