Coalition hanging by a thread: What will be the fate of the government?

Sources close to Prime Minister Netanyahu said that if Yisrael Beytenu MK Sofa Landver votes against a controversial conscription bill, he will fire her.

March 12, 2018 16:52
2 minute read.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in the Knesset

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in the Knesset . (photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)


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


Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will reveal in upcoming hours whether he favors initiating an election over haredi (ultra-Orthodox) conscription, an adviser to Netanyahu told The Jerusalem Post Monday afternoon.

Netanyahu will deliver a speech to the Knesset later Monday, because 40 opposition Knesset members requested it. The adviser said the prime minister would reveal his intentions in that speech, which will take place after he listens to many opposition MKs criticize him.

Earlier Monday, Netanyahu appeared to hint that he would not initiate an election. In a statement released to the press, he boasted about the accomplishments of his government.

"Our government is a terrific government," Netanyahu said. "Therefore, it is important to continue our partnership that has brought about these achievements. I call upon all my coalition partners, starting with Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman, to remain in the government and continue this partnership to guarantee security, prosperity and stability to the State of Israel."

But sources close to Netanyahu said Monday that if Yisrael Beytenu MK Sofa Landver votes against a controversial conscription bill, he will fire her, and Liberman said that if Netanyahu fires Landver, his party would leave Netanyahu's coalition, which could lead to the prime minister initiating an election.

Although there is a tradition that ministers are fired if they vote against their government, Netanyahu is not legally required to fire Landver. Asked by the Post whether the prime minister would fire Landver, the adviser said Netanyahu would answer the question in his Knesset speech.

Liberman called the conscription bill "a laugher" and a "fake bill" and called current plans to pass the bill in a preliminary reading this week and then change it later "a theater of the absurd." In a meeting of his Yisrael Beytenu faction, he said the faction would vote against the bill, including Landver. Liberman does not have the same problem as her, because he is not an MK.

Even if Netanyahu does not fire Landver, Liberman said his party would leave the coalition if the conscription bill passes into law after the Knesset recess without undergoing substantial changes.

"Being defense minister is wonderful, but values must come first," Liberman said. "We don't want elections, and we don't want the government to break up, but not at any price."

Bayit Yehudi leader Naftali Bennett, who bashed Netanyahu Sunday, when he thought the prime minister was initiating elections, defended him Monday, while criticizing Liberman and Yesh Atid leader Yair Lapid for opposing the conscription bill.

"We said a week ago it was a fake crisis, and we stand behind that," Bennett told his faction, while holding up a sign with haredi conscription data. "Now there is fake leadership of hiding behind polls, rather than telling people the truth. Haredi conscription is going up. The IDF doesn't want so many haredim so fast. Liberman and Lapid know. They should tell their people the truth, even if it is uncomfortable."

Join Jerusalem Post Premium Plus now for just $5 and upgrade your experience with an ads-free website and exclusive content. Click here>>

Related Content

New Right co-leaders Naftali Bennett (R) and Ayelet Shaked (L) enter a press conference in Tel Aviv
July 21, 2019
Shaked to lead New Right Party in September elections


Cookie Settings