In what is being deemed as a major loss for Israel’s coalition government, which is losing its majority, Idit Silman announced Wednesday that she is quitting the coalition and will instead work to form a new government.
Silman announced she was stepping down due to the “harming” of Jewish identity in Israel, and this means that the current coalition no longer has a majority. “I will not abet the harming of the Jewish identity of the State of Israel and the people of Israel. I will continue to try to persuade my friends to return home and form a right-wing government,” she said in a statement. “I know I am not the only one who feels this way. Another government can be formed in this Knesset.”
Unbeknownst to the Prime Minister, Silman relied on reporters for the news to reach Bennett, and her shocking announcement means the government will only be able to pass legislation with support from opposition lawmakers. The only party that would perhaps provide it with votes for some legislation would be the Joint List of Arab factions, but its support would only serve to further alienate coalition parties on the right.
Immediately taking cognizance of her resignation, opposition leader Benjamin Netanyahu congratulated Silman for what he termed a “courageous move.”
“I was very moved to hear MK Idit Silman’s statement, and I congratulate her on behalf of the masses of the people of Israel who yearned for this moment,” Netanyahu said in a video statement. “I call on all those elected by the national camp to join Idit and come home, you will be received with complete respect and with open arms,” Netanyahu said.