Former interior minister Ayelet Shaked told Maariv that due to certain circumstances, there was no alternative but to join the government of change led by former prime ministers Naftali Bennett and Yair Lapid.
"What kind of delegitimization did they do to us?" she asked. "I don't regret the establishment of the government, but I regret the fact that we broke an election promise without a choice." She added that the public didn't appreciate the reason, but that's how it is in politics.
Shaked stated that the Israeli public doesn't choose according to what the government actually does, but rather tribally or according to gut feeling. There was a very aggressive campaign against the outgoing government that was based entirely on lies, she claimed. Shaked stated that many claimed money was being transferred to terrorism, and now Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is actually transferring billions to the Arabs.
Shaked added that during the election campaign, there was great anger towards her in the right-wing public for which she paid the price. "The person on the street never asks which minister will perform the best," she said. She knew while she was in the former government of change she would pay a heavy political price which she did, and commented that "ministerial success isn't always politically rewarding."
What does Shaked think about the judicial reforms?
Regarding planned reforms in the judicial system, she said that she agrees with some of the moves yet opposes others. Each reform should be judged on its own merits. She's certainly against canceling the Netanyahu trial, though.
Shaked stated that as justice minister, she knew how to work with the existing system of appointments in the High Court. Likud can promote its agenda with the existing system. Until now she has seen no need for any changes.
Shaked believes that the increase in housing prices will moderate this year and there may be a drop in prices.
"I passed the baton to Aryeh Deri and was informed that this year we broke an all-time record in apartment planning," she said. "Over 155,000 were approved by the planning committees and over 100,000 were sold. We didn't anticipate the price increase until now, which has been crazy. It's a matter of supply and demand. Before we entered, we marketed 50,000 apartments; now it's 100,000 per year. Also, what accelerated prices was the flood of Ukrainian refugees and the negligible interest rate."
Shaked was surprised. She didn't think that the increase would reach over 20% annually.
Israelis who want to visit the US endure a lengthy process in applying for visas. Regarding this matter, Shaked said that "it remains stuck because Netanyahu and the opposition blocked legislation so that I wouldn't receive credit for the move. Two laws need to be finalized, and a tech infrastructure to transfer information to the US needs to be established."
Visa exemptions will be possible in 2023.