Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu received a stern warning on Tuesday from the
head of his coalition, Yariv Levin, not to make a deal with the Palestinian
Authority that would require relinquishing any Jewish communities in Judea and
Speaking to the Middle East news site Al-Monitor, Levin said
that not only would he give up his own job if such a deal were made, but
Netanyahu himself would lose his post.
“I assume that the possibility of
a diplomatic move on the part of Bibi [Netanyahu] is there,” Levin said. “But I
also know that he stands no chance of passing such a resolution.
assuming that, under certain circumstances, Netanyahu will be in a position to
muster a majority in the Knesset, once that happens, he will lose his power base
in the Likud Party and will no longer be able to serve as prime minister. He
will then have to go to early elections.”
Labor leadership candidate
Isaac Herzog, who is a former coalition chairman, said Levin’s threat was proof
that Netanyahu’s government had fallen to a new nadir. He called upon Justice
Minister Tzipi Livni, who is leading negotiations with the Palestinians, to seek
clarification from Netanyahu.
“Beyond the embarrassing tone of the words
and the disrespect for the prime minister, Netanyahu stands before a critical
test of whether to continue with a real diplomatic process or surrender to the
axis of Yariv Levin and [deputy defense minister] Danny Danon,” Herzog
Danon also threatened the prime minister when he told The Jerusalem
Post last week that Netanyahu could be forced out of Likud by party
“It can happen if he decides to endorse Livni’s views,” he
said. “A deal giving up most of Judea and Samaria – the current Likud leadership
will not accept that. We [who oppose such steps] are the majority in the party.
Something so important [as giving up land] cannot be done via political
Levin said it would be very difficult to split Likud and he did
not believe Netanyahu could form an alliance with Yesh Atid or Labor.
don’t think that he is interested in [splitting Likud] or that such a move is at
all feasible,” Levin said. “Yet, we must remain vigilant. Politically, Netanyahu
has a solid position in the Likud, and if he pursues his current policy, he will
enjoy the backing of his faction, as well as public support.”