'The Coalition's Days Are Numbered': Netanyahu Hails Defector Ahead of Right-wing Rally

Netanyahu is cranking up the pressure on other right-wing lawmakers to 'do the right thing' and join his ranks, after Idit Silman's shock resignation from Israel's government

Noa Shpigel
Noa Shpigel
Silman and Netanyahu
Silman and NetanyahuCredit: Ohad Zwigenberg
Noa Shpigel
Noa Shpigel

Former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that the "coalition's days are numbered" on Wednesday, after he welcomed the coalition whip Idit Silman's decision to leave the government.

"Idit, you have made the right decision," Netanyahu wrote on Twitter. "Welcome home to the real right, to the national camp. We all salute you."

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Netanyahu at the Knesset, WednesdayCredit: Emil Salman

Speaking at a Knesset session on the recent wave of terror attacks in Israel, Netanyahu later called on other lawmakers to quit the government: "We are waiting for you, we will embrace you," he said. "Make the right decision today."

Silman abruptly announced her decision on Wednesday morning, catching Prime Minister Naftali Bennett – from her own Yamina party – off guard. Her defection leaves the government with 60 lawmakers and effectively ends its majority in the Knesset.

According to a senior coalition member, Silman agreed with people close Netanyahu to be part of the Likud roster in the next election and will receive the health ministry portfolio.

Later Wednesday, Netanyahu will speak at a right-wing rally in Jerusalem titled "Israel is bleeding" in a bid to pressure right-wing lawmakers from the coalition to join a government with the opposition bloc. "A government with terror supporters will not bring security to Israelis," the poster for the event reads.

Another protest is planned outside the home of another Yamina member, Nir Orbach, in an effort to persuade him to follow in Silman's steps. Prime Minister Naftali Bennett is meeting with the lawmaker ahead of the demonstration, as one of several upcoming conversations between them.

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