Silman: What bothered me is a minister said to abide by High Court

The MK lamented that while she is considerate of others, others in the coalition are not considerate of her.

 Israeli Health Minister Nitzan Horowitz and MK Idit Silman attend a press conference in the Israeli parliament discussing the working conditions of Israeli medical interns. (photo credit: YONATAN ZINDEL/FLASH 90)
Israeli Health Minister Nitzan Horowitz and MK Idit Silman attend a press conference in the Israeli parliament discussing the working conditions of Israeli medical interns.
(photo credit: YONATAN ZINDEL/FLASH 90)

Yamina MK Idit Silman said that she left the government coalition because "a minister in Israel came and said to follow a ruling by the High Court of Justice," in an interview with Haaretz on Wednesday.

Silman referred to a ruling by the High Court which stated that hospitals cannot ban patients and visitors from bringing in food products that are not kosher for Passover (hametz) during the holiday week.

The MK complained that Health Minister Nitzan Horowitz had published a letter, calling on hospital heads to follow the law, and responded that banning hametz was not considered religious coercion.

"How have they managed in hospitals until now?" asked Silman in the interview. "I have been in the world of health for more than 20 years. Live and breathe it. Do you know the reality in the hospitals on Passover? Were you in hospitals on Passover? Did you feel uncomfortable?" she asked.

"I'm not forcing you. There is no religious coercion in hospitals. There never was," Silman said. "Not in hospitals and not in the military. Security guards never rummaged through bags."

 MK Idit Silman speaks speaks with Environmental Protection Minister Tamar Zandberg in the Israeli parliament during a plenum session in the assembly hall of the parliament (Knesset) on October 11, 2021. (credit: YONATAN SINDEL/FLASH90) MK Idit Silman speaks speaks with Environmental Protection Minister Tamar Zandberg in the Israeli parliament during a plenum session in the assembly hall of the parliament (Knesset) on October 11, 2021. (credit: YONATAN SINDEL/FLASH90)

Silman stated that she was outraged that Horowitz felt the need to issue a directive to hospitals to follow the ruling of the High Court. "Thank God, the hospitals know how to handle things very well – even on Passover."

"What bothered me was that a health minister who is supposed to deal with health, is now taking issues of religion and state and doing a real spin and a poke in the eye with them!" she said.

Silman additionally stated that the practice of hospitals not to allow hametz in on Passover is of a "traditional nature, not religious," she said.

The MK lamented that while she is considerate of others, others in the coalition are not considerate of her. Silman called on Horowitz and Transportation Minister Merav Michaeli to focus on other matters and leave religious matters alone because they "do not have the right coalition partners for this."

"Do not touch things that should not be touched!" Silman told Haaretz. "Do you understand? If I do not set this as a flag, it will continue to deteriorate!"

In a letter to Prime Minister Naftali Bennett on Wednesday, Silman stated that she was leaving the government coalition because "some of our partners, central position holders in the coalition, ... are not ready for any compromise from their side on subjects that stand at the center of the world view of the public that voted for us and brought us into the Knesset."

"I can no longer bear the harm to values and banners of essence  and rights," wrote Silman. The MK called on members of the coalition to "admit" that it was time to think of a "new path."

In an interview with Israel Hayom last June, Silman had stated that her "redline" was not to go to another round of elections. She also said then that she would not be going to the Likud Party and was "here for the long term."

Silman also attacked opposition leader Benjamin Netanyahu for "worrying about the Left," saying that "the one who knew how to bring in the Left and throw us out was Netanyahu. He is the only one who cared about the Left. He took care of Tzipi Livni, Ehud Barak and Avi Nissenkorn. Our roles are maintained on the Right. Are you talking about Mansour Abbas?"

"In the end, Shaked is the interior minister, Saar is the justice minister, Liberman is a resident of Nokdim and Naftali Bennett comes from the Yesha Council. This is a right-wing government more than any of Netanyahu's governments. I do not accept the argument that the Left is an enemy," Silman told Israel Hayom.