May 25, 2016

The strange expanded coalition crisis

This situation, crisis of sorts, in the coalition between Bennet and the Likud-Netanyahu over his demand is a strange one.

Bennet is demanding that the security cabinet members be more informed about issues they need to vote on in wartime, rather than vote blindly according to the demand of the Prime Minister. He is insisting on some form of reform in the working makeup of the cabinet to that effect.

It is strange that such a demand must be made. People get appointed to the security defense cabinet, but then don't get told the issues they need to make decisions on? They need to trust one or two people blindly when they say vote yes or vote no? Isn't the purpose of such a cabinet to discuss issues and look for better solutions or find the problems in the proposed solutions that maybe were not considered previously? Why have a cabinet at all if this is how it is going to function. Effectively, the person running such a cabinet (Netanyahu, for the most part) is basically a dictator.

It seems to me that if such a demand must be demanded, it seems pretty reasonable.

Yet, and this is also strange, this has turned into a crisis. Netanyahu is refusing to agree to this demand, and the headlines are saying that Netanyahu and the Likud are even refusing to discuss it. In other words, they want their dictatorship mandated and consider it unreasonable for anyone to suggest otherwise.

Very strange. Strange this needs to be an issue, and strange how they respond to the issue.

This crisis can end in a few ways:
a. Netanyahu can acquiesce.
b. Bennet can give up his demand and vote for the government expansion despite not getting hsi demands met
c. Netanyahu can fire Bennet
d. the government can collapse over this

Yisrael Beyteynu is a party of 6 seats, essentially bumping the new coalition up to 61 from the previous 61. However, one of the Israel Beyteynu MKs says she is resigning from Yisrael Beyteynu as she refuses to join the coalition, and is taking her seat elsewhere. If she does not give up her seat, that makes the expansion sit at 66.

Habayit Hayehudi is a party of 8. If they leave, or get fired over this, the government still collapses, despite the expansion. Bennet holds the cards here. If he holds strong in his demands, this is something that Netanyahu would classically fire him over, but in this case it meas going to new elections, as what happened when he fired Livni and Lapid from the previous government. He might give in, to avoid new elections, though it is hard to imagine him just walking away from a demand he made so strongly - perhaps he'll be offered something else in exchange.

Israeli politics is never boring.

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