Former Deputy Interior Minister Faina Kirschenbaum, who was forced to resign from the Knesset due to suspicions of her involvement in the corruption scandal involving senior members of the Yisrael Beytenu party, on Thursday revealed a secret plot that was hatched to unseat Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu.
The details, revealed in a report on Channel 2 News, were exposed by Kirschenbaum during a private conversation.
"Before this scandal, the polls predicted that we would get between 16 and 18 seats and we agreed on a centrist bloc with [Moshe] Kahlon and Yesh Atid, " she said, adding, “To this bloc, assuming that Netanyahu would have resigned, we would have added the Likud and formed a large national bloc that could have solved a lot of problems and led a lot of moves.”
Kirschenbaum said the move could have been carried out because Israel does not have a law under which the head of the largest party must head the government.
She further stressed that Yisrael Beytenu will only be a part of a right-wing government, echoing recent remarks by party chairman Avigdor Liberman.
"The option of a left-wing government does not exist, they cannot form a coalition and are unable to increase their support. There should be a nationalist government that is as broad as possible. I do not think that Buji (Herzog) and Tzipi (Livni) should be part of it,” said Kirschenbaum.
If her claims are true, they may confirm what Netanyahu said when he fired Justice Minister Tzipi Livni and Finance Minister Yesh Atid from their posts – accusing the two of leading a “putsch” against him and trying to unseat him without elections. Lapid denied the accusation, saying Netanyahu is “detached” and “living in his own aquarium”.
Both Yesh Atid and Kahlon’s Kulanu party denied Kirschenbaum’s claims on Thursday evening. Yesh Atid said "it never happened", while Kahlon’s party said, "Kulanu was established in order to defeat the housing crisis and the cost of living, and not to do deals."
Yisrael Beytenu declined to comment.