Netanyahu hosts soiree to mend coalition fences

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu reached out to opponents of his diplomatic policies on Tuesday night at a festive dinner for coalition MKs and their spouses at the prime minister's official residence in Jerusalem. Some 50 coalition MKs came to the event and dined on steak, chicken and salmon as a local band played Jewish music. Netanyahu made small talk with the MKs' spouses and apologized for keeping them working long hours. Netanyahu said the government and the coalition were working well and were generally stable. "We must face the challenges ahead shoulder to shoulder," Netanyahu said. "Even if we have disagreements, I am sure they come from good intentions." Rebel Labor MKs did not attend the event for political reasons. Frequent Netanyahu critic Vice Premier Silvan Shalom attended, but raised eyebrows by leaving before the main course was served. Vice Premier Moshe Ya'alon missed the event due to a family wedding, and coalition chairman Ze'ev Elkin did not come because he was on a parliamentary trip to Moscow.