Meretz, the Zionist Camp, Yesh Atid and the Joint Arab List have stated that they oppose the establishment of a casino in the Southern Israeli city. Along with the Haredi political parties and Bennett, more than 61 MKs plan to protest against this process.


Archives Photo Credit: Flash 90/Channel 2 News

Earlier this week, Channel 2 News reported that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu plans on allowing casinos to operate in Eilat. Today (Wednesday), Netanyahu met with Israeli Tourism Minister Yariv Levin in order to discuss the topic. During the discussion, Netanyahu adopted recommendations that Levin submitted regarding the subject. However, many political parties, including coalition parties, already announced that they strongly oppose the proposed plans.

Ha-Bayit Ha-Yehudi chairman and Education Minister Naftali Bennett declared earlier today that he will not support the establishment of casinos in Eilat. Also Shas, Meretz, the Zionist Camp, Yesh Atid and the Joint Arab List proclaimed that they are against the process. Therefore, it appears that more than 61 MKs will oppose this initiative.

“Israel isn’t Vegas and it won’t be,” wrote Bennett on his Facebook page today. “We will act against the construction of a casino in Israel. In my opinion, the establishment of a casino is forbidden, morally and practically. It is morally forbidden because casinos contradict the values of our state, serve the strong and weaken the weak. It is practically forbidden because we will all need to fund the damage and injury to the body and soul that will come along with a casino.”

Minister Yariv Levin

Minister Yariv Levin Photo Credit: Facebook/Channel 2 News

Meretz chairwoman Zehava Gal-On also attacked Netanyahu’s initiative. “On one hand, the government is fighting organized crime and encouraging local authorities to forbid money laundering and combat human trafficking, and on the other hand, the government wants to establish a casino that will import prostitutes, organized crime and poverty,” said Gal-On. “The government is moved by narrow considerations of profit, causing it to abandon the residents of Eilat.”

Despite the opposition from right and left wing political parties, proponents of the plan say that there are signs of support among members of the Israeli Opposition. Therefore, the government is considering allowing coalition members the freedom to vote regarding this matter.