Regev: They’re Trying to Blackmail Netanyahu

Culture and Sports Minister Miri Regev (Likud) on Saturday night launched sharp criticism against members of Likud, given the recent moves being initiated from within the party against its chairman, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu.

"The prime minister is made out of steel, he stands against a group that isn't easy – friends don't blackmail a prime minister," she told Channel 2.

It was revealed last Friday that a group of senior members of Likud are advancing a bill to have the prime minister's term limited to eight years or three terms; Netanyahu has just begun his fourth term, having served as prime minister a cumulative total of over nine years.

That comes in addition to talk within Likud of changing the party's primaries system, another move which is seen as aiming to limit Netanyahu's power.

"I don't know about the march of the offended, I can tell you about the march of the outstanding though – the one who deserves to receive a citation is the prime minister," said Regev.

Speaking about the coalition which is just at the 61 MK majority needed to form a government, she added, "we're 61, it isn't easy, but this government will stand against all the security and economic challenges which are in front of it."

"The prime minister said that he intends and wants to widen the government, but even if we don't succeed in expanding it we will provide a response to all the problems – also those in culture and sport," said the minister.

Regev then turned her attention to the clash with the Palestinian Authority (PA) at FIFA, in which the PA sought to have Israel banned until pulling its demand at the last minute on Friday, given the expectation that the vote would fail.

She noted that she isn't ready to forgive Palestinian Football Association President Jibril Rajoub for his politicized move and called for a serious solution to the problem, remarking, "I have no problem with smiling at him but I won't shake his hand."


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