Netanyahu Is a Danger to the State of Israel, Former Ally Elkin Says

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Former Minister for Higher Education Ze'ev Elkin at a Knesset Education Committee meeting, May 2020.
Former Minister for Higher Education Ze'ev Elkin at a Knesset Education Committee meeting, May 2020. Credit: Adina Walman / Knesset Spokesperson

Former Minister of Higher Education in Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government Ze’ev Elkin said that Netanyahu is a “danger to the State of Israel,” and vowed never to sit with him in a government under any circumstances. 

Speaking on Channel 12 News "Meet the Press," Elkin said: “in no universe will I sit in an Netanyahu government. I wouldn’t do it. Netanyahu is a danger to the State of Israel."

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When asked whether he would vote in favor of a bill that would forbid a premier with a criminal indictment from continuing in his position, he said he would have to think about it. 

On December 23, Elkin announced his resignation from the government and Likud. He slammed Netanyahu's "cult of personality," and joined Gideon Sa'ar's New Hope party.

In his resignation letter to Netanyahu, Elkin wrote, "I can no longer call on the citizens of Israel to vote for you and trust that you will work for them." Elkin added, "the citizens of Israel cannot be held hostage to your personal interests."

Elkin wrote, "Sadly, in the last two years, and especially over the last period, more and more I feel your personal agenda and the whims of your inner circle are taking an increasingly central role in making decisions, which are often critical for the State of Israel and its citizens. As someone who has watched this dangerous process up close, I am increasingly worried, and my belief in you and the honesty of your intentions has waned more and more."

Elkin said that soon before the Knesset dissolved in December of 2019, he urged Netanyahu to prevent an election, but that the prime minister refused to give up on his pursuit of immunity from prosecution. “That’s when the rift was formed,” Elkin wrote. Recently, he said, “[t]his rift turned into a true schism.” According to Elkin, Netanyahu could have “stopped the train barreling into the abyss of a fourth election in two years, at the height of one of the most severe health and economic crises Israel has ever known,” but that “personal considerations again overpowered national ones.”

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