Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu intends to resume political activity inside his Likud Party next week after three months when his focus was on security issues.
Prior to the June 12 kidnapping and murder of three Israelis teens, Netanyahu had been holding regular meetings with key Likud activists in an attempt to shore up his political base. He had been criticized for ignoring Likud activists for years before he started convening the meetings several months ago.
He will meet with Likud branch heads Monday at his official residence in Jerusalem.
He also has meetings coming up with the party’s founding members and rallies planned for Netivot, Kiryat Shmona, and Petah Tikva.
No decision has been made yet about whether he will attend the September 15 Likud central committee meeting in rocket- stricken Ashkelon. Hawkish party activists are expected to criticize Netanyahu harshly at the event.
A Likud official expressed confidence that Netanyahu’s turn to his political base was an indication that there would not be overtures to centrist and left-wing parties in his coalition like restarting a diplomatic process with the Palestinians in the near future.
A day after Yesh Atid leader Yair Lapid threatened to bring down the government if taxes are raised, other ministers said they doubt elections are on the way any time soon.
“Going to elections now is the wrong thing to do,” Construction and Housing Minister Uri Ariel told The Jerusalem Post
“After a war it is wrong to shake up the country with politics. The public doesn’t want elections, and no party wants elections either.”
Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman told Channel 10 that he does not see elections changing the coalition on the horizon.
He rejected reports that he has vetoed Shas entering the coalition.
Asked about his relations with Netanyahu, which have deteriorated over the past three months, Liberman said “there is no bad blood between the prime minister and me.”