Deputy Foreign Minister Tzachi Hanegbi..
(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)
Likud MK Tzachi Hanegbi, who is about to take up his posts as coalition whip and chairman of the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, told Channel 2 on Saturday that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s 61-seat coalition could survive two years - three at the most.
“It will be very difficult to maintain this coalition for the full four-and-a-half year term,” he said. “I think everyone understands that. It is possible for it to go the full term, but for that to happen more parties need to join in the coming months.”
Thursday’s swearing in of the government at the Knesset turned chaotic after Hanegbi released a statement to the press denying Netanyahu’s contention - which he made during his remarks to parliament - that he was named coalition whip.
“I was very hopeful I’d be a minister,” he said. “Sometimes there are difficult situations that require concessions. If I had only thought of my own good, I’d go crazy, I’d feel miserable, and I’d be screaming at the top of my lungs. But since I think about the prime minister and that I wish for the success of this government and this prime minister, I volunteered to work hard and to suffer for a year.”
“The prime minister asked me to do a year’s worth of service in the Knesset,” he said. “He told me the obvious - he didn’t have anyone to serve as coalition whip and FADC chairman.”
Hanegbi said that there was a “misunderstanding” which led Netanyahu to announce that he had accepted a position prematurely.