Netanyahu says he doesn’t want early election

A Likud source told The Jerusalem Post Wednesday that beating David Ben-Gurion’s record as longest-serving prime minister is an important benchmark for Netanyahu.

By
August 8, 2018 18:59
2 minute read.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the cabinet meeting July 29, 2018

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the cabinet meeting July 29, 2018. (photo credit: ALEX KOLOMOISKY / POOL)

 
X

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

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu does not want an election to be held before November 2019, the Likud’s spokesman said on Wednesday.

Netanyahu spoke to Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman and Deputy Health Minister Ya’acov Litzman to try to reach agreements on how to proceed with the haredi IDF conscription bill.

Be the first to know - Join our Facebook page.


The discussion came a day after the High Court of Justice gave the government a three-month extension of its September deadline to pass the law.

Due to the intractability of coalition parties’ disagreements on the matter of conscripting haredi men into military or civilian service, many in the political field saw the court’s new date – December 2 – as a deadline to call an election.

However, the Likud spokesman said that Netanyahu, Liberman and Litzman “have a shared will to solve the issue of conscription and go to an election on time.

“The discussions will continue in the coming weeks,” he added.

A source in Agudat Yisrael told The Jerusalem Post that the party’s Council of Torah Sages would likely have to convene in order to decide how to proceed with the law.



The source said, however, that he believed it was likely the law would be amended and then passed.

Currently, many of the hassidic grand rabbis who make up the council are on their traditional summer vacations abroad, but will be returning in the coming days.

In June, the council convened and told its MKs that if the current version of the bill is passed into law, the party should quit the coalition, while Aguda and UTJ chairman Litzman said in July he would quit the government if the bill is not changed.

The party and its rabbis have ideological objections to a clause in the bill stipulating financial sanctions against the general yeshiva budget if haredi conscription targets are not met, seeing such sanctions as an unacceptable punishment for studying Torah.

A Likud source told The Jerusalem Post Wednesday that beating David Ben-Gurion’s record as longest-serving prime minister is an important benchmark for Netanyahu.

In order to surpass Ben-Gurion, Netanyahu would have to remain premier at least until May 31, 2019.

If the Knesset fails to pass a haredi draft law by December 2, all yeshiva students currently receiving ongoing annual military service deferrals would be obligated to enlist. This would result in mass contempt for the rule of law, since the seminarians would likely evade the draft. Nor would the army have the capacity to absorb them.

The High Court struck down the previous arrangement in September 2017 and gave the government 12 months to pass a new law, but a failure to address the issue promptly meant the coalition ran out of time. The government asked for a seven-month extension, and the court gave it three.

Related Content

The temple mount on the Ninth of Av, July 22, 2018.
August 18, 2018
Mayor of Arab city in Israel condemns police shooting terrorist

By MAARIV ONLINE, JONATHAN WEBER ROSEN