Coalition crisis expected to extend until end of month

Bennett says no mediation efforts taking place right now, waiting to see whether talks extended past deadline before making decisions about his party.

April 15, 2014 22:41
2 minute read.
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Economy Minister Naftali Bennett

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Economy Minister Naftali Bennett. (photo credit: BAZ RATNER,REUTERS)


Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analysis from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief


The crisis inside Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s governing coalition will not be resolved until the deadline for extending talks with the Palestinians, officials in the Likud and Bayit Yehudi predicted on Tuesday night.

Efforts to resolve the crisis are on hold due to Passover and Bayit Yehudi chairman Naftali Bennett’s family vacation in the Judean Desert. A source close to Bennett said he wanted to wait and see whether a deal to extend the talks will be reached by the April 29 deadline for reaching an agreement that was set almost nine months ago.

“There are no mediation efforts taking place right now,” the source said. “He is waiting to see how the talks pan out. In Israel, nothing gets done until right before a deadline. By the end of the month, it will be clear where Netanyahu is heading, and consequently, where we are heading.”

Monday night’s Passover Seder had been the earlier deadline to resolve the crisis, because Netanyahu wanted Israeli agent Jonathan Pollard released by the Seder as part of a deal in which Israeli Arab terrorists would be freed.

Bennett publicly threatened on Thursday night that if any Israeli Arab prisoners were released in an agreement with the Palestinians, he would remove Bayit Yehudi from the coalition.

Monday’s terrorist attack in the West Bank emboldened Netanyahu’s critics in the coalition.

Bennett, Construction and Housing Minister Uri Ariel (Bayit Yehudi) and Deputy Defense Minister Danny Danon (Likud) all released statements saying the attack was further proof that releasing terrorists from prison would harm Israeli security.

“The Palestinian Authority under [President] Mahmoud Abbas encourages and funds murderers of Jews with one hand, and extorts Israel to release such murderers with the other,” Bennett said. “Abbas wants terror, not peace.”

The attack widened the gaps between Netanyahu and Bayit Yehudi, countering the impact of a poll published on Friday in Yediot Aharonot.

The poll found that Likud would win only 22 seats, Bayit Yehudi 11 and Yisrael Beytenu 10 if elections were held today.

Deputy Foreign Minister Ze’ev Elkin said the survey was proof that the national camp would be weakened if elections were advanced and therefore Bennett should keep the current government together. He urged Netanyahu and Bennett to resolve their crisis behind closed doors and stop fighting publicly.

But former Council of Jewish Communities in Judea, Samaria and the Gaza Strip head Danny Dayan said Elkin’s spin on the poll was incorrect. The poll indicated that the Likud would actually rise two seats from its current 20, to 22, he wrote on Twitter.

Related Content

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
August 31, 2014
Prime minister to Channel 1: I’ll be running again in next election

By Gil Stern Stern HOFFMAN

Cookie Settings