Culture Minister Miri Regev (L) and Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein (R)..
(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)
Culture Minister Miri Regev reignited her feud with Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein on Thursday, when she accused him in an Army Radio interview of acting upon personal animus for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
The feud between them began over Regev’s decision to have Netanyahu speak at the annual Independence Day Eve torch-lighting ceremony on Mount Herzl, which is traditionally addressed by the Knesset speaker and not the president or prime minister.
After Netanyahu violated an agreement to speak for only five minutes and spoke nearly thrice that, Edelstein accused the prime minister of losing credibility and Regev of trying an arrange an address at the event by the late British prime minister Margaret Thatcher.
Regev responded for the first time on Thursday by saying that Edelstein did not have to highlight her slip of the tongue and that she did not understand the origin of the Knesset speaker’s hatred for Netanyahu.
“He looks like Mr. Clean but he is far from it,” she said. “He is far from statesmanlike, and he does not have the majesty of [Likud ideological mentor Ze’ev] Jabotinsky that he claims to have. He thinks he bought Mount Herzl with his own money.”
Regev called those who criticized her handling of the ceremony “wicked” and “sour.”
Edelstein declined to respond to the attacks.
The two are expected to fight for a top spot on the next Likud Knesset candidates list.
An internal Likud poll reported in Thursday’s Israel Hayom found that if an election were held now, the party would win 34 seats, up from its current 30. The poll was taken by the Geocartography Institute, which has given the Likud substantially more support in its polls for many years.
After a survey for Channel 2 by pollster Mano Geva found that a new party led by MK Orly Levy-Abecassis would win eight seats, the new poll confirmed the pattern and predicted that the party will win seven.
A lawyer for Likud MK David Bitan revealed Thursday that he intends to run for the next Knesset, even if the serious investigation against him continues to advance.