"I am afraid that the political situation will remain more or less the same after the March 18 elections," former Likud minister and now chairman of the new Kulanu party Moshe Kahlon told Ynet in an interview on Wednesday. "The state of Israel will continue to be in stalemate and the housing prices will remain high, the cost of living will be high, the gaps are growing wider and are intolerable; it's a state of stalemate."
Kahlon explained that Likud's social banner had initially drawn him to the party. "I still feel like a 'Likudnik' in the social sense but the Likud has moved away to different place. The genuine Likud is represented by me and the people around me. I decided to establish Kulanu against that backdrop – we are continuing the Likud of 1977".
He stressed that he would join any government "that would give us what we are asking for: a reduction in housing prices, a breakup of monopolies, a closing of the gaps and a decrease in the cost of living...If we secure enough mandates, we'll be able to implement our plans. We are not ruling out anyone."
Kahlon described former finance minister Yair Lapid's work in the Knesset as a "huge missed opportunity," adding that "19 seats gives a great deal of power. He could have done many things but unfortunately he missed out on the chance he was given." The former Likud minister added that his party would be more successful in taking advantage of their position in the Knesset.
Kahlon also criticized Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu: "We are measured by the results we achieve, not by words or Facebook posts, and not by headlines or political spins. Results count the most. Was the zero VAT bill passed? Did the housing prices go down? Did the gaps grow smaller? Everything only went up and up; the gaps widened, the housing prices escalated. They are both to blame. They shouldn't point any fingers at anyone else.
"Everyone who was in that government, including Bennett, is to blame for the situation today," Kahlon added. "They shouldn't try to pass on the responsibility to someone else. They are trying to pass it on to each other, but all three are to blame."
Commenting on those running on the Kulanu list, Kahlon noted that the candidates come from different sectors, adding: "I wanted people with proven records behind them, like Eli Alalouf (the former head of the anti-poverty commission), Dr. Yifat Sasha-Biton (former Kiryat Shmona deputy mayor) and Rachel Azaria (Jerusalem Deputy Mayor), people who have done things, who have been in leadership positions."
On Monday, the Chairman of Kulanu set terms for entering the governing coalition after the elections in March – "if we are not given the responsibility over the Israel Land Administration, we will not participate in the government."
At a Ben Gurion University conference in Be'er Sheva on Monday evening, Kahlon said, "Reform against the weak is easy; reform against the strong is the difficult problem. Reforms are not manifested by writing updates on Facebook or interviewing well on television. Reforms are manifested in acts, not in speeches."
The Kulunau chairman said his faction had an organized plan to dismantle the Israel Land Administration. "I say it here – I am going to dismantle the Israel Land Administration. If we do not receive the Israel Land Administation portfolio, we will not enter the government," he declared.