Israel will declare elections by the end of the year - fmr. minister

"If a government is unable to pass laws...then there is no point in its continued existence."

New Hope leader Gideon Sa'ar votes in March 2021 elections. (photo credit: YOAV DAVIDKOVITZ)
New Hope leader Gideon Sa'ar votes in March 2021 elections.
(photo credit: YOAV DAVIDKOVITZ)

Former justice minister, Chaim Ramon, spoke about the Judea and Samaria regulations that will be put to a vote next week in the Knesset, and Justice Minister Gideon Sa'ar's threat that anyone who does not vote for the regulations is interested in dissolving the government.

The bill, which extends emergency regulations for Area C of the West Bank, is passed automatically every five years. It is a legislative go-around that allows for the governance of Israeli civilians living outside Israel’s sovereign borders in Judea and Samaria in a manner that does not meet the criteria of annexation.

Among the legal arenas that are impacted would be the right of the government to tax citizens living in the settlements, as well as the citizens’ right to receive state health insurance and national insurance.

It would also prevent the Israel Police from operating in the settlements, leaving criminal matters in the hands of the Military Police. Civilians charged with offenses would find themselves before a military court and facing time in military prisons.

"If a government is unable to pass laws, and certainly such an important law through the coalition then there is no point in its continued existence."

Former justice minister Chaim Ramon

"From the justice minister's point of view, he is right because he does not want a government that survives. He wants a functioning government," Ramon said at the beginning of the interview. "If a government is unable to pass laws, and certainly such an important law through the coalition then there is no point in its continued existence. Like this it will roll over and be paralyzed and dysfunctional, and eventually the citizens of the state will pay the price."

 THE LEADERS of the coalition in the Knesset last month.  (credit: YONATAN SINDEL/FLASH90) THE LEADERS of the coalition in the Knesset last month. (credit: YONATAN SINDEL/FLASH90)

"The first thing we are asked is whether this threat will do the job with Ra'am, but the big question here in my opinion is not whether Ra'am will fold, because Ra'am is in a bad situation, because everything promised to it has not yet been fulfilled for bureaucratic reasons," the former justice minister added. “Therefore, it will be in trouble and the Joint List will celebrate it as a victory. Another question is what will MK [Idit] Silman do because if she votes against then it does not pass because it is 60-60."

"The government has been going through death throes for a long time, but my forecast was that an election date would be set during 2022, it could be another nine months, and I stand behind this forecast unequivocally," Ramon noted. "What is important is that the citizens of the State of Israel deserve a functioning government. When a government does not function, its leaders should go to the opposition and set an election date. Beyond that, all its members believe that there will be elections."

Finally, the former justice minister referred to reports that Sa'ar and opposition leader Benjamin Netanyahu are negotiating the formation of an alternative government, claiming: "This will not happen. All the rumors about the contacts are part of the campaign of pressure that Sa'ar exerts with his political wisdom on anyone from the coalition who is thinking of voting against the Judea and Samaria regulations. He tells people 'Listen, I can go with Bibi'."

"Do you want a forecast? I put everything I know about Gideon Saar - there is no situation in which a government will be formed that is headed by Netanyahu when Gideon Saar is crowning Bibi," said Ramon.

Gil Hoffman and Tovah Lazaroff contributed to this report.