Ron Prosor 311.
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
Israel Beiteinu officials decided Tuesday night to delay a vote on a
controversial bill that had been expected to reignite the already tense
relations between Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Foreign Minister and
Israel Beiteinu leader Avigdor Lieberman.
Lieberman lashed out at
Netanyahu at a Knesset press conference on Monday over appointments of
ambassadors and the Likud’s failure to advance key Israel Beiteinu- sponsored
legislation in the Knesset. He threatened that his party would advance its
agenda independently and violate coalition discipline.
The first test of
how Netanyahu and Lieberman would get along following the press conference was
supposed to be a vote on Wednesday on a bill sponsored by Israel Beiteinu MKs
Faina Kirschenbaum and Alex Miller that would have removed value-added taxes
from water bills.
The Finance Ministry had protested that the bill would
cost NIS 1.5 billion, but Israel Beiteinu had threatened to pass it with the
support of the opposition. Following mediation between Netanyahu and Lieberman
by coalition chairman Ze’ev Elkin, Israel Beiteinu agreed to delay the vote by
two weeks in a decision that will be formally made Wednesday
“The bill is important, and we have advanced it in order to ease
the burden on the population that has been paying an increasingly high water
bill,” an Israel Beiteinu spokesman said. “But we have agreed to delay it by two
Elkin said such an expensive bill could not have been advanced
without coordinating it with the government.
He denied reports that he
had considered excluding Israel Beiteinu from coalition discipline on the
JPOST VIDEOS THAT MIGHT INTEREST YOU:
“Israel Beiteinu wants to advance their agenda, and that’s
understandable, but it’s not always possible,” Elkin said. “We will try to go
toward them without breaking the budget and without harming other coalition
Meanwhile, Lieberman is expected to bring Ambassador to London
Ron Prosor’s nomination for the ambassadorship to the United Nations, to the
Foreign Ministry’s appointment committee in the next couple of weeks. It will
then go to the cabinet for final approval.
Lieberman’s announcement on
Monday that he would not agree to send National Security Council head Uzi Arad
to London to replace Prosor has opened speculation inside the ministry over who
might get that post – considered one of the foreign service’s plum
At the press conference, he said there were a number of highly
qualified diplomats inside the Foreign Ministry whom he preferred to appoint to
the London position, including some who had been born in London.
statement fueled speculation that among the possible candidates were Jeremy
Issacharoff, the Foreign Ministry’s deputy director- general for strategic
affairs and formerly the No.2 man in the embassy in Washington, and Mark
Sofer, who is currently Israel’s ambassador to India and has previously served
as its envoy to Ireland.
Foreign Ministry employees expressed frustration
Tuesday that the appointment of Prosor, widely viewed inside the ministry as a
very good choice, and the appointment of his replacement have turned into a
public political football that does not do any credit to the country’s foreign
Join Jerusalem Post Premium Plus now for just $5 and upgrade your experience with an ads-free website and exclusive content. Click here>>