Feb 28, 2018

more threats to the government coalition

That this government has lasted as long as it has seems to be an open miracle. The government goes from crisis to crisis, from threat to topple to threat to topple, from investigation to investigation. The shared fear of elections has kept them together, but at some point it has to unravel, or else the Prime Minister has to tell his partners that this type of functioning with regular threats to topple has to stop.

The newest dispute over the new draft law seems pretty serious. The Haredi parties pushed to get it approved quickly without any delay. At first they took their time and were drafting a law and working on the text with others. As the investigations close din on Netanyahu and increased the chances of the government falling, they decided they needed to speed this up and get it in before elections are possibly called and before new government comes n that might not be so Haredi-friendly. But the coalition partners are not playing along and don't want to be bullied into agreeing to something they don't agree with at such a level as mass exemptions from the draft. The Haredi parties are saying this was a coalition agreement and it has to be approved or else. Gafni already halted discussions about the budget and wont let the new budget votes happen until this is finalized. Now Litzman is threatening he wont vote with the coalition on the budget and he will collapse the government if necessary.

Netanyau is generally a wizard at patching these things up. I can't wait to see how he resolves this. However, I do not understand how he is not so frustrated by it all already and doesn't do what he did last time with all the demands and just fire everyone and call for new elections. It must be because of his own problems and the uncertainty that goes along with it.

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  1. I don't know if the Haredi parties are acting in fear of elections or are just being pragmatic. I remember reading a number of reports (end of December) that none of the parties wanted to go to elections. If they could get the budget passed the Government had a good chance of serving out it's full terms. Perhaps this is the last opportunity to leverage the government in the near future. They are just taking advantage of the fact that given legal issues, Likud is the last party that wants to go to early elections.

  2. this is definitely major leverage due to the budget vote but the truth is that the government can be brought down at any time and a party can leave the coalition at any time, so even after the budget vote they can still threaten, just the leverage might not be the same. They are risking a lot right now because if they dont pass the budget and the government collapses, many of the benefits the Haredi parties fought to include in the budget for their constituencies (eg money for yeshivot etc) will also be lost and will have to be fought over again with a new government

  3. That they actually want to enshrine in the Israeli Constitution (in the form of a Basic Law for "Torah Study") that charedim are worth more than the rest of us is disgusting.

    Lieberman tried to add a clause that even secular people learning Torah get exempt. They did not take that well.

    1. Lieberman tried:
      After all, DL RZ yeshivot don't count.


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