The handful of coalition MKs who voted yesterday in favor of electing Yesh Atid MK Karin Elharrar to the Judicial Selection Committee did so out of "decency" and not because they were promised anything, opposition leader and Yesh Atid chairman MK Yair Lapid said during an appearance at Reichman University on Thursday.
"What we saw yesterday in the Knesset was the beginning of a new Israeli alliance. Out of the chaos and the mayhem and the lies, an alliance was created that no longer deals with right, left or center, but with the attempt to safeguard the State of Israel," Lapid said.
The coalition MKs who voted for Elharrar "did not change parties [and] did not receive any promise, they did it because they are decent people who are no longer willing to be part of a mechanism that is destroying Israeli society. I am full of appreciation for this," Lapid added, promising that they would "continue to work together in order to safeguard Israeli democracy."
Lapid was referring to the vote on Wednesday for the Knesset's two representatives on the committee responsible for electing all of Israel's civil judges, on which Elharrar won a spot thanks to at least four votes from coalition MKs, despite the prime minister directing the coalition to vote against her.
National Unity MK Ze'ev Elkin revealed on KAN radio on Thursday that he had known in advance that at least four members of the coalition would vote in favor of Elharrar, and one more would abstain. Elkin said that he and other opposition members had spent the last "week or two" convincing the coalition MKs to vote for the opposition candidate. Some did so out of ideology, while others had "other motives" such as revenge against Netanyahu, Elkin said.
Hard-liners from the Likud harshly criticized their fellow coalition members.
Likud MKs attack five who 'decided to screw' Netanyahu'
Likud MK Hanoch Milwidsky, who is a member of the coalition's negotiating team at the President's Residence, said on 103 FM that "there were five Knesset members from the Likud who decided yesterday to 'screw' the prime minister and justice minister for all kinds of personal reasons. There is no connection to ideology. The reform legislation should be brought before the public eye, and then all of the right-wing public will know who voted and how," he said.
אני לא סבור שיש בקואליציה בעיה של מתנגדי הרפורמה. אתמול הייתה קבוצה של 5 חברי כנסת שיש להם חשבונות אישיים עם שר המשפטים ועם ראש הממשלה, שניצלו את הפרגוד ואת ההסתרה מהעין הציבורית כדי לעשות פוליטיקה קטנה ולא ראויה, ובכך לפגוע בקואליציה מתוך כוונה להביך את ראש הממשלה ושר המשפטים.… pic.twitter.com/w0ThWUXYdx— חנוך מילביצקי - Hanoch Milwidsky (@hanochmilwidsky) June 15, 2023
Other MKs, such as Likud MK Boaz Bismuth, accused the opposition that by freezing the talks at the president's they revealed their "true face," and that the coalition should respond by passing the judicial reform bills one-sidedly.
Likud MK Tally Gotliv, whose refusal to remove her candidacy for a spot on the committee contributed to Wednesday's fiasco, said to the Knesset channel that there were "traitors" in the Likud, and added that she was not concerned about possible sanctions from the Likud over her conduct.