Photo Credit: Yonatan Sindel/Flash90
Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein with a friend

“Jewish Power will not be in the coalition, even if Prime Minister Netanyahu wanted to take them in,” Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein said on Monday at an election panel in Tel Aviv, Maariv reported.

“[Jewish Power chairman] Michael Ben-Ari will [inevitably] demand that the government’s basic guidelines state that we should annex Saudi Arabia, that we expel all the Arabs from the Knesset … All kinds of things that naturally won’t be adopted, so on the first day of the coalition he would retire. ”

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According to Edelstein, “Had there been an attempt to bring these people into the Likud, I would have stood up and protested and would not have let it happen – and I said as much to Netanyahu this.”

The Knesset Speaker called for a discussion on the question of whether the Knesset can include members with extremis views.

“I am willing to show up for this discussion and express my opinion, but I cannot stand hypocrisy,” he said, turning his rebuke at the left. “When I supported the impeachment law (which was directed at extremely anti-Israeli Arab MKs), they told me, ‘You don’t understand the meaning of freedom of speech.’ Now all of a sudden those same people say to me, ‘No, we have to limit freedom of speech.'”

Edelstein was asked by journalist Rinat Regev if Jewish Power leader Itamar Ben Gvir deserved a seat in the Knesset.

“He has never been a member of Knesset before, I detest his opinions, but if the public sends him to the Knesset and if there is no restriction on the views that Knesset members are allowed to express, then what do you want me to do?” the Speaker answered.

Regev then asked about the elephant in the Likud living room: “Do you think the prime minister can continue to serve even if in the end, after his hearing, an indictment would be filed against him, and even if he faces a criminal trial?”

“I think only the prime minister can answer that,” Speaker Edelstein said. “If he really knows he is not to blame for anything and wants to continue doing his job … I want to ask you, how I am supposed to feel if I now, as speaker of the Knesset, say to him, ‘Go home,’ and later it turns out he was innocent?”

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