Rebel MK Eli Avidar pledges loyalty to Bennett's coalition - interview

MK Eli Avidar stressed that Prime Minister Naftali Bennett could count on him more than his own MKs in Yamina.

 ELI AVIDAR ADDRESSES a rally against former prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem earlier this year. (photo credit: Courtesy)
ELI AVIDAR ADDRESSES a rally against former prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem earlier this year.
(photo credit: Courtesy)

The most independent Knesset member in Prime Minister Naftali Bennett’s governing coalition, Eli Avidar, has promised to support the government.

Avidar, who broke off from Yisrael Beytenu when the government was formed in June, quit his post as a cabinet minister on February 22. Nevertheless, he stressed in an interview with The Jerusalem Post on Sunday, that Bennett could count on him more than his own MKs in Yamina.

“I have been 100% with the coalition since its establishment, and I will do everything possible to make it sustainable until its final days,” Avidar said.

However, when the Knesset returns from its recess next Monday, Avidar could cause Bennett headaches by trying to pass a controversial bill that would prevent an MK under indictment from forming a government.

Avidar copied a bill submitted by Justice Minister Gideon Sa’ar that Sa’ar hesitated to bring to a vote. Sa’ar did not want to pass the bill with the help of the Joint List, but Avidar has no problem with that and got Joint List MK Osama Saadi to cosponsor it.

 Strategic Planning Minister Eli Avidar.  (credit: DANI SHEM TOV/KNESSET SPOKESPERSONS OFFICE) Strategic Planning Minister Eli Avidar. (credit: DANI SHEM TOV/KNESSET SPOKESPERSONS OFFICE)

“Everyone in the coalition says they are in favor of it, and the Joint List isn’t in favor of political corruption,” he said. “It’s not enough to pass the time and make sure Yamina MKs are satisfied. We have our goals, too.”

Avidar will support Sa’ar’s bill that would limit a prime minister to eight years. Sa’ar nearly passed it before the Knesset’s spring recess.

“I will keep the coalition as strong as possible,” Avidar said. “Yamina are the troublemakers because no one but Bennett wanted to join it.”

Asked how long he thought the government would last, he said, “Prophesy is given in Israeli politics to idiots. Governments fall when everyone loses control. No one knows when that will be.”