Addressing the racist remarks attributed to Channel 10’s new board chairman, Rami Sadan, Finance Minister and Minister of Environmental Protection Moshe Kahlon said during Monday`s plenary session that while the ”miserable statements should not have been made, I believe we can make do with an apology and move on.”

Kahlon was responding to a question from MK Tamar Zandberg (Meretz), who asked whether Kahlon thought Sadan should resign. Sadan is accused of making disparaging remarks about Minister Aryeh Deri, who heads the Sephardi Orthodox Shas party, as well as about Mizrahi Israelis of African and Middle Eastern descent. ”People who are quoted should be much more careful,” Kahlon added.

Finance Minister Kahlon during ”Questions Hour” in the plenum: ”I was forced to agree to a two-year budget due to the coalition agreement”

(Minister Moshe Kahlon)

Kahlon was answering questions presented by MKs as part of ”Questions Hour” in the plenum, a new parliamentary tool that was incorporated into the Knesset`s Rules of Procedure during the Winter Assembly.

Zandberg also asked Kahlon if, as Minister of Environmental Protection, he will avoid approving construction plans that have environmental repercussions. ”The Environmental Protection Minister has a great director general and a great staff, so I do not think I will have to [deal with this],” Kahlon replied. ”I will confer with the ministry`s legal counsel and I will act in accordance with the law.”

MK Merav Michaeli (Zionist Camp) asked Kahlon, ”It has been reported that you plan to submit to the Knesset a two-year budget. Many officials in your ministry have expressed their objection to such a move, and the High Court of Justice has said harsh things about the significance of a two-year budget, and allowed it only in special cases, such as an election year. Why do you want to submit a two-year budget solely for political reasons and in contrast to what is good for the economy, the market and Israel`s citizens?”

Kahlon replied: ”I do not think a two-year budget is the right thing, but I was forced to agree to it because I made a commitment in the coalition agreement. I have no interest in toppling the government at this moment. Important things are being done. I am a member of the government, these are the trade-offs of politics.”