Netanyahu scary grin 311 AP.
(photo credit: AP)
Recent attacks by cabinet ministers on Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu are not
a sign that his coalition is nearing its end, the critical ministers themselves
Kadima officials pointed on Sunday to criticism of Netanyahu
by Interior Minister Eli Yishai, Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, National
Infrastructures Minister Uzi Landau, and Welfare and Social Services Minister
Isaac Herzog, as evidence that the coalition is wobbling. The officials talked
about the “end-of-course atmosphere,” an IDF term for the lackadaisical final
days of IDF service.
But the ministers who attacked Netanyahu in recent
days made a point of downplaying their statements and intentions on Monday while
expressing their hope that the coalition would endure.
Landau said he was
outraged by reports connecting a statement he made about the need to expand
electricity supplies to Yishai’s demand for more funding for firefighters, and
to Herzog’s calls for Netanyahu to stop Lieberman from attacking leftist
“Professional comments I made were taken out of context,” Landau
Yishai downplayed his recent fight with Netanyahu over
responsibility for the Carmel forest fire. He said he did not feel slighted by a
general statement Netanyahu made at Sunday’s cabinet meeting about ministers
Sources close to Herzog rejected the notion that he
might be conspiring with ministers from other coalition parties to bring down
He said he disagreed with the notion that there was an
“end-of-course atmosphere” in the coalition.
Labor ministers’ threats to
leave the government have been watered down in recent days. Industry, Trade and
Labor Minister Binyamin Ben-Eliezer, who at one point said the party should
reconsider its place in the coalition by January, spoke on Monday about Passover
– which is in April – as the real deadline for Netanyahu to show progress in
talks with the Palestinians.
Minorities Affairs Minister Avishay
Braverman has rescinded his threat to quit the cabinet on his own if Labor’s
governing convention did not back his proposal for the party to reconsider its
place in the coalition. Braverman appealed to the party’s internal court Monday
asking it to force Labor’s leadership to set a date for the convention.