Netanyahu offers Kahlon Finance Ministry ahead of election

Kahlon rebuffs pre-election "spin"; Zionist Union does not match offer.

By
March 15, 2015 09:48
2 minute read.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu

Moshe Kahlon and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu [File]. (photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)

 
X

Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later Don't show it again

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday offered Kulanu leader Moshe Kahlon the finance portfolio in an attempt to co-opt the likely kingmaker of the next government.

In an interview with Israel Radio, Netanyahu said he would extend the offer to Kahlon regardless of the number of mandates his party ultimately achieves in the election, adding that the Likud would be unable to form a coalition government without the inclusion of Kulanu.

Be the first to know - Join our Facebook page.


The final polls released before Tuesday’s impending election showed roughly even blocs on both the Left and Right, leaving Kahlon’s centrist party in the position to put either the Likud or Zionist Union over the top by supporting their governments.

Netanyahu said that with Kahlon in the Finance Ministry, the government would work toward lowering housing costs in a move similar to Kahlon’s cellular-market reforms.

Kahlon called Netanyahu’s offering a “spin” in his campaigning, citing a similar offer two years ago that did not come to fruition when push came to shove. In the run-up to the 2013 elections, Netanyahu promised Kahlon run of the Israel Lands Authority, which is controlled by the Construction Ministry. After the elections, however, Netanyahu instead gave the position to Bayit Yehudi, which installed Uri Ariel in the post.

Kahlon said Netanyahu’s intentions were to mislead the public and decrease the amount of mandates Kulanu wins in the impending elections.

Nevertheless, Kahlon said the offer was “flattering,” and emphasized that he would not rule out cooperation with Netanyahu or Zionist Union Chairman Isaac Herzog.



“Only if the public allows me, and Kulanu, to have enough power, will we be able to ensure that any government, whether Herzog or Netanyahu, follows our path and not the failed path of [Yesh Atid head and former finance minister Yair] Lapid,” Kahlon said.

Herzog, meanwhile, expressed his appreciation of Kahlon on Israeli radio, saying he sees him as an integral part of a Zionist Union-led coalition.

He praised Kahlon’s economic proposals, among them a banking reform proposition that, among other things, would split credit cards from banks, and indicated that he would be glad to implement the changes with Kahlon in his government.

Unlike Netanyahu, Herzog did not extend an offer of the finance minister position to Kahlon.

In an interview with The Jerusalem Post on Sunday, Zionist Union candidate Erel Margalit echoed that the party would not be “starting negotiations before the election results are in.”

Related Content

Gideon Sa'ar
March 24, 2015
Sa'ar says national unity government is 'still on the table'

By JPOST.COM STAFF