“In the end, we will reach everyone with the vaccine”

Deputy Health Minister Yoav Kish picked up the phone to Gideon Saar after his press conference. You are making a mistake, he told him, and immediately made it clear that he did not intend to join him. Saar, who only a year ago was a big supporter of Saar in the primaries against Netanyahu and even served as the head of his election headquarters, today completely shuns his actions and clarifies that his decision helps the left camp first and foremost.

“I supported Saar and not Netanyahu because I was afraid we were going to lose the right-wing government,” Kish explained in his initial interview with Israel This Week. “It will end in failure. But I was wrong. And I am happy about that. The Likud was much more successful in the election and we even managed to stay in power. The government may be problematic and difficult to work with, but we did not lose power and I hope we can work properly with a functioning government.”

According to him, immediately after the primaries, he made it clear to Saar that there would be no separate camp in the Likud. Saar, he reveals, debated immediately afterwards whether to resign from the Likud and embark on a new political path but Kish thought differently: “I told him I think he should stay, and leave would be a mistake. Even today he is wrong. I will not speak against him. He has a lot of talents and abilities but “He made a serious mistake when he left the Likud. This is the house that will lead Israel for many years to come.”

Didn’t he share you before he decided to retire?

“No, he surprised me with his decision.”

If he shared and offered to come with you?

“I’m second generation in the Likud, my mother was a member of the center. I never thought there was any idea of ​​going anywhere else. He made a serious mistake, but I do not think and do not intend to go anywhere.”

Opinion leaders will be convinced. Kish // Photo: Knesset Spokeswoman – Shmulik Grossman

What did you expect him to do? After all, Netanyahu harassed him, did not appoint him minister despite the high position in the primaries and in fact quite showed him the way out.

“I think that if Saar had stayed in the Likud, he would have been a relevant candidate to lead the movement the day after Netanyahu. This position is not the only thing that matters in politics. Following the government formed, a decision was made to leave only those who were already ministers on the day the government was formed.” “Not the only one who did not get a job in the government.

You are careful with his dignity, but now he may be able to remove the Likud from power.

“He said he would not sit in the Netanyahu government, and I think that is also a mistake. This is not the time for polarization and messages of division. There are great challenges such as the war in Corona, the economic, political and security situation. I respect his decision to resign from the Knesset. Shasha-Biton, who received the mandate from the Likud, but because of money and position remains and does not respect the public’s decision. ”

What did you tell him when you called him after his press conference?

“I think he made a mistake but he is a friend and I appreciate him. Our political path parted and he chose a different framework, I stayed in the Likud and this is the movement that will lead the State of Israel.”

A member of the left-wing bloc, as claimed by the Likud headquarters?

“I do not see him as a person with views of the left. But if the right can lead through the Likud and Netanyahu government, and he opposes it, then he is against the right. Although he is not in the left’s views but he is certainly acting against the right.”

You said Shifat Shasha-Biton should resign like a storm. Do you think the Likud should declare her to have resigned from her faction with all the sanctions associated with it?

“Sharp and smooth. That’s what she did, she resigned from her faction. She saw that she had no chance of joining the Likud and resigned. The fact that she remained disgraced her and the Knesset.”

See you in April

In the past, Kish sharply attacked Shasha-Biton for her conduct as chairman of the Corona Commission. The first wave, “he says,” I think it did very great damage to the State of Israel. She led populist decisions and prevented the Ministry of Health from making decisions in the face of the epidemic.

“Dangerous conduct.” Shasha-Biton // Photo: Oren Ben Hakon

“Today the public understands these were populist decisions. There are those who think this whole corona is a conspiracy, delusional people, and they have found in her opinions a comfortable refuge. The vast majority understand how wrong she was and how flawed and dangerous her conduct was. Only this week when asked if she would get vaccinated She said no, and began to say that the vaccine should be proven safe and things like that. What kind of talk is this from a public leader? “

You can not ignore that there is a lot of criticism of crisis management.

“Contrary to all opinions, it turns out that we performed well in the first wave. We made a mistake with the early departure and reached the second wave. The decision on the additional closure was difficult and saved the health system. Hard non-populist decisions have to be made, The vaccines and the huge personal push that led to us getting the vaccines fast, shows how a prime minister can influence the conduct of the campaign in Corona and get out of it faster than anywhere else in the world. “

When can we get back to routine?

“According to the rate of vaccines that come. There are two doses, three weeks in between and then another week waiting for the vaccine to take effect. This brings us to the end of March-beginning of April, when we will start getting back to routine. This interim period, until then, we will have to know how to manage. It will be tightened in the coming week. ”

What is the critical mass of vaccinated to get out of the corona routine?

“At least 60 percent of the population so we can start releasing. After 80 percent we are vaccinated it will lead us to a complete opening. There is always a challenge – both health and economic – and there are prices on each side. The understanding that vaccines are what can save us – is what will bring Israel back to normal.”

Will there be benefits for the vaccinated?

“There will be a green passport. It will be for the recovering and vaccinated. It will provide an opportunity to participate in events such as concerts, restaurants, things that will only be open to the vaccinated.

How will you persuade the public to get vaccinated?

“We will make a move for opinion leaders, the prime minister and the health minister who will be vaccinated first. They are followed by well-known doctors and other opinion leaders. We are fighting Pike News against those who want to distribute. We will give the green passport to benefit vaccinated people.

Bennett needs an announcement

In recent weeks, Ayelet Shaked has talked to Shasha-Bitton quite a bit in an attempt to add her to the right. Talks became more intense following Saar’s announcement of his new party. But Shaked did not have much to offer in a party where the entire first quartet was already laden with no ability to push a pin.

Other right-wing elements with whom Shasha-Biton was in contact told her that going to the storm meant a high probability of going to an opposition desert for a long time. Saar announced that he would not sit down with Netanyahu. If he keeps his promise, and if the left is unable to form a government, Shasha-Biton will not be part of the government.

Bypass in round. Saar // Photo: Oren Ben Hakon

She told her interlocutor that she did not intend to decide now. Confirmed that her deliberation is indeed between the right and the storm, but clarified that she will make a decision only after the Knesset is dissolved. At the end already announced this week. It is not clear if she tried to put people to the right, but a massive pressure from Saar to do so already now led to the declaration.

On the right, Bennett is looking for the right way to deal with Saar, who devoured the cards and became the second largest party according to the polls, mostly at the expense of the right. He knows the situation is not simple. Many center-left voters supported him, or parked with him, as he puts it, and now flocked to Saar en masse after saying no to the Netanyahu-led government. Bennett gave a sense that he was compared to Netanyahu but did not declare it as an assault. Nor is he sure he will. He checks the exact messages in countless consultations.

Bennett believes that ultimately doing has results. And unlike the storm, in recent months he has done. Prepared a plan for the war in Corona, an economic plan, touched the hottest spots and did not sit in the armchair and wait. He understands that Saar preceded his announcement only to precede him, before he himself announced his run for prime minister after the dissolution of the Knesset. The right is hoping that Bennett’s announcement that he is running for prime minister will bounce back and open the battle for momentum.


People who spoke with Bnei Gantz last week described a conversation with a broken vessel. A tired man who feels that his strength has run out. He sees the polls, sees the approaching political deadline, and has no idea what to do. He also has no desire to decide. His party is already torn. Whether he goes to the polls or compromises, the militant faction, those who pushed him into a constant confrontation with Netanyahu, will no longer go with him. The contacts between them and Yair Lapid become serious from moment to moment. The same group will bury Gantz with the blue and white brand, while they will find themselves an escape door at the last minute.

Gantz is furious at Ashkenazi, who in his opinion abandoned him in the moment of truth. To the credit of the latter, it can be said that contrary to the assessments, perhaps hopes, of some of the party’s senior officials, he did not lead a revolt or a move that would impose an ultimatum on Netanyahu. But for Ganz it’s really not enough. He expected him to be interviewed in recent days and back him up. this is not happening. Ashkenazi, currently, is silent.

After Omar Yankelevich went to the demonstration of the young settlement and announced that Blue and White supports the regulation of the outposts, some Knesset members, from the more left-wing faction, claimed that she had made a mistake. Assaf Zamir even attacked her and said that her words did not represent the party. After the faction meeting where the remarks were made, Ganz summoned the two for a clarification call. The media reported that it was a shout-out. Now it turns out that the one who raised his voice was Yankelevich on Ganz. The shouts were so loud that Zamir later described not knowing where to bury himself. It was humiliating, he said. Ganz sat like a shy child and did not utter a word in the face of Yankelevich’s outburst, rejoicing that the chairman did not back her up.

The bottom line was this week. After Gantz announced that Blue and White would oppose the arrangement of the young settlement, Yankelevich spoke with him and explained to him that for her this was not possible. At the last minute Gantz softened and allowed freedom of vote. Three MKs from White Brush supported the law. Ganz himself was absent from the vote.