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Threat of Elections Looms as Factions Attempt to Negotiate

Opposition Parties Lash Out at PM

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13 Mar 2018 (All day)
Threat of Elections Looms as Factions Attempt to Negotiate
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu gave a speech to the Knesset plenum Monday afternoon in which he declared that it would be better for the country not to go to early elections in June. However, opposition parties planned to submit bills to disperse the current government and go to early elections on Tuesday and Netanyahu was reportedly having a difficult time in negotiations with his coalition partners to convince them to agree to a compromise which would end the lingering crisis.

“In order to continue our great achievements, and to stand up to the great challenges before us, we need to continue together,” Netanyahu said during his speech. “It is late, but not too late,” he said during his speech as part of an appeal to the leaders of Yisrael Beytenu, Shas and United Torah Judaism, who are all at loggerheads over the issue of draft deferments for Ultra-Orthodox (haredi) yeshiva students. “We need to act responsibly. The country needs a stable government.”

Regarding the compromise bill proposed to end the crisis, criticism has been harsh and widespread within the government.

“Being defense minister is wonderful, but values must come first,” Defense Minister and Yisrael Beytenu leader Avigdor Liberman said. “We don’t want elections, and we don’t want the government to break up, but not at any price.”

Yesh Atid chairman Yair Lapid agreed, saying during a meeting of his faction that “the thing they’re calling a ‘compromise’ on the draft-dodging bill is the proof – if anyone needed proof – of how cynical, broken, and shameless our politics are. This is a law that says, the haredim (ultra-orthodox) will enlist in the IDF, unless they don’t feel like enlisting in the IDF... [then] there’s no problem. No sanctions. They’ll go home. Netanyahu says all the time that prime ministers are removed in elections. For a change, I agree with him. It’s time to go to an election and change the prime minister.”

 

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