Opposition Calls on Kahlon to Join Minister Gabbay in Quitting Coalition Over Lieberman's Appointment

Following the environmental protection minister's resignation, Yesh Atid and Zionist Union urge the finance minister to leave Netanyahu's 'bad government.'

Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon, left, and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Opposition parties Yesh Atid and Zionist Union urged Moshe Kahlon over the weekend to follow Environmental Protection Minister Avi Gabbay and quit Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's extreme right coalition.

"I call on Finance Minister Kahlon to quit this bad government, whose existence depends on him alone," said MK Elazar Stern (Yesh Atid).

Kulanu's Knesset faction chairman MK Roy Folkman said his party does not plan to leave the government despite Gabbay's criticism.

"The faction has a critical role in the coalition to advance historic reforms, narrow social gaps and lower the cost of living," he said.

Gabbay, a founding member of the Kulanu party, is not a member of the Knesset, which means that his resignation has no bearing on the size of the coalition.
Kahlon, the chairman of Kulanu, said Friday that he has informed the prime minister of his intention to hold on to the environmental protection portfolio, with the chance of appointing a party MK for the post in the future. He lauded Gabbay's service but made no comment about the latter's criticism of the government.

Gabbay delivered a searing indictment of Netanyahu's government on Friday as he resigned from the cabinet.

He resigned following the recent political upheaval and the replacement of the defense minister, which he said endanger national security. Last week Netanyahu ousted Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon and replaced him with Avigdor Lieberman, as part of the move to add Lieberman's party to the coalition.

Gabbay also slammed the cabinet reshuffle, which he said will further widen the rifts within Israeli society. "The public wanted a rightist government, but forming an extremist government is wrong," he said.