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Yamina Lawmaker's Resignation Shakes Israel Government

Yamina Lawmaker's Resignation Shakes Israel Government

Thursday, 7 April, 2022 - 10:00
Israeli lawmakers attend a vote on a bill at the Knesset, the Israeli parliament, in Jerusalem February 6, 2017. REUTERS/Ammar Awad

The Israeli government was hit with a new crisis, described as a “political earthquake,” following the shock resignation of Yamina member, MP Idit Silman, a move that deprived the government of its parliamentary majority.

Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett held a series of meetings with the deputies in his party, to prevent another withdrawal, especially after rumors circulated that MP Nir Orbach might also resign.

Orbach had voiced dissatisfaction with various government decisions in recent months.

Political sources said that Bennett’s colleagues in the coalition severely criticized him for spending time on mediation to stop the war in Ukraine and conducting frequent trips abroad, disregarding the battle his party and coalition were facing inside Israel with the opposition circles.

Over the past months, Silman has been subjected to verbal harassment by activists of the extreme right. She submitted dozens of complaints to the police about death threats against her and her family.

On Wednesday, the deputy published a letter addressed to Bennett, informing him of her decision to resign from the coalition. Silman justified her resignation, saying that she could no longer tolerate deviation from the core values of the right-wing.

She urged him “to acknowledge the truth: we tried. The time has come to think of a new course. To try to form a nationalist, Jewish, Zionist government.”

Former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu welcomed the deputy’s announcement, saying: “To friends still sitting in this coalition, I say: come home, Join Idit Silman, join us, and together we will return Israel to the track of success, achievement, security, and peace.”

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