Netanyahu optimistic he can keep coalition together

Dispute with Kadima over how to equalize the burden of IDF service threatens coalition; Labor submits bill to dissolve Knesset.

July 3, 2012 22:30
2 minute read.
Mofaz and Netanyahu at cabinet meeting

Mofaz and Netanyahu at cabinet meeting 370. (photo credit: 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 analyses 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

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later Don't show it again

Defense Minister Ehud Barak and Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s former chief of staff Natan Eshel conducted shuttle diplomacy Tuesday between all parties involved in the dispute over how to equalize the burden of IDF service, in an effort to prevent the coalition from unraveling.

The mediators did not succeed in bringing about a meeting Tuesday between Netanyahu and Kadima chairman Shaul Mofaz, who is angry at Netanyahu for disbanding the Keshev Committee that the prime minister tasked with finding an alternative to the “Tal Law” legislating the drafting of yeshiva students.

Be the first to know - Join our Facebook page.

Mofaz has refused to meet with Netanyahu until after the Kadima leader presents Keshev’s findings together with committee chairman Yohanan Plesner on Wednesday morning. He accused Netanyahu of tricking him and making a political deal with Shas and United Torah Judaism at Kadima’s expense.

Sources close to Netanyahu said he would meet with Mofaz Wednesday in an attempt to settle their differences.

The sources said the prime minister would tell Mofaz that he will use Plesner’s recommendations as the basis for talks with coalition partners on a bill that will be passed in the Knesset to replace the Tal Law by its August 1 deadline.

Eshel reportedly tried to persuade Plesner to delay presenting his recommendations.

“We are optimistic that the prime minister will find a solution,” Netanyahu’s spokesman Liran Dan said Tuesday night.

Barak arrived from New York on Tuesday morning and went straight to a meeting with Netanyahu at the Prime Minister’s Office. He then spoke with Mofaz and Plesner, and reported back to the prime minister.

“The challenge is to restore the trust between Netanyahu and Mofaz,” a source close to Barak said. “They know there are no real friendships in politics and it’s all political interests.

Both sides have an interest in keeping the partnership going.”

Eshel, who was the architect of the national unity government, mediated between Kadima and Shas, meeting with Plesner and Construction and Housing Minister Ariel Attias, who has expressed willingness to compromise on the key issue of personal sanctions against yeshiva students who evade IDF service.

“Netanyahu told us there had to be personal sanctions and there was no way around it, so we said that if there are light personal sanctions we will not leave the coalition,” Attias told Army Radio. “We are not part of this game. It was Kadima that was unwilling to compromise and close a deal.”

Opposition leader Shelly Yechimovich and Labor MK Isaac Herzog announced Tuesday they would be submitting a bill to dissolve the Knesset and initiate early elections on Wednesday.

Yechimovich had presented such a bill to the Knesset prior to Kadima entering the coalition in May. She decided to bring the bill to a vote again amid the crisis over the Keshev Committee.

“The elections were supposed to take place in September, but this natural process was prevented by the cynical, survivalist tactic carried out by the Likud and Kadima – which created a giant, ineffective coalition unable to come to a reasonable agreement, even in regard to the Tal Law,” she said.

“The public must now choose at the voting booth between the Likud under the leadership of Netanyahu and Labor under my leadership.”

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