Ayelet Shaked trashes other Israeli ministers in recording
Right-wing Israeli Interior Minister Ayelet Shaked was heard disparaging her cabinet colleagues in a leaked recording broadcast on television on Wednesday.
In the recordings, aired by Israeli Channel 12 news, Shaked called Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid, who heads the centrist Yesh Atid party, “shallow”.
Shaked accused him of damaging ties with neighbouring Jordan, saying that Prime Minister Naftali Bennett was continually having to “clean up after him”.
“Every week Lapid drops a bomb and Naftali comes to the rescue. Every week, and no one knows,” she is heard saying.
“He did this like three times, with the Jordanians, with the Americans… and Naftali came to the rescue, unequivocally.”
Since June 2021 Israel has been governed by a disparate coalition of right-wing, centrist, and leftist parties, united by little more than their opposition to former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The coalition also includes an Islamist-leaning party made up of Palestinian citizens of Israel.
Under the coalition deal, Lapid will replace Bennett as prime minister in 2023 - but Shaked cast doubt on that happening in the leaked recording.
“I have no comment about that,” she was heard saying. “I don’t know what will happen. It depends if there’s a crisis or not. We’ll see.”
Shaked also took aim at Defence Minister Benny Gantz, who heads the centrist Blue and White coalition, saying that he was “even worse than Lapid”.
The Times of Israel reported that it was not apparent who Shaked was talking to in the leaked conversation.
Channel 12 reported that Shaked had called Lapid after the leaks to express her regret. Her office also said that she had made the remarks in anger after an anonymous minister had criticised her for saying earlier this month that there would be no two-state solution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict during a visit to the UAE.
Tensions have recently increased in Israel’s governing coalition, with leftist parties Labour and Meretz criticizing Bennett and Gantz for approving new residential units in illegal Israeli settlements in the West Bank and declaring six Palestinian human rights groups to be “terrorist organizations”.
Shaked belongs to Bennett’s right-wing Yamina alliance and made headlines in 2014 when she likened Palestinians to "snakes" who had to be "eliminated".