After Netanyahu said to change his mind about calling early elections, ministers give factions freedom in voting on conscription bill, agree to pass budget
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu leads the weekly government conference at the Prime Minister’s Office in Jerusalem on March 11, 2018.(Marc Israel Sellem/Pool)
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government reached a compromise deal on Tuesday evening after a long day of intense talks, apparently solving a coalition crisis that had almost caused early elections to be called.
The Ministerial Committee for Legislation voted unanimously to allow coalition party leaders freedom in instructing their faction how to vote on an ultra-Orthodox-backed bill exempting Haredi students from joining the IDF.
The vote means the compromise deal struck between Netanyahu and two rival coalition partners has apparently been finalized and is now being implemented.
According to the deal, the conscription bill will pass its first of three votes later this week, before the Knesset goes to its spring recess on Thursday. Meanwhile, the Yisrael Beytenu party’s five lawmakers, who are fiercely opposed to the law, will be permitted to vote against it.
The bill will then be amended according to recommendations to be drafted by the Defense Ministry, and will face its final two votes in the summer. The 2019 state budget will also be approved.
Earlier, senior sources in the coalition were quoted by multiple news outlets as saying Netanyahu had decided not to dismantle the government, having gotten “cold feet.”
Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman leads a faction meeting of his Yisrael Beytenu party at the Knesset on March 12, 2018. (Miriam Alster/Flash90)
Infighting over the bill during the past week has pushed the government to the brink of elections, with parties issuing competing ultimatums over remaining in the coalition.
The ultra-Orthodox have threatened to torpedo the 2019 state budget if the conscription bill does not pass on preliminary reading this week, and Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon has threatened to quit if the budget is not passed.
Some had accused Netanyahu of seeking early elections as a way of clinching another mandate before a possible bribery indictment.
Hebrew-language media reported that the agreement includes voting down an opposition-led motion to dissolve the Knesset and schedule fresh elections, passing the conscription law in preliminary reading while allowing the Yisrael Beytenu party to vote against it. Netanyahu will refrain from firing Yisrael Beytenu Minister Sofa Landver, who on Monday appealed the approval of the law by a ministerial committee.
According to precedent, a sitting minister can’t vote against a government ministerial decision. However, according to the reportedly emerging deal, ministers will request that the prime minister not fire her and guarantee it was a one-time incident.
Liberman on Monday had threatened to quit the coalition and thus usher in new elections if Landver is fired from her ministerial post for opposing the legislation.
But Liberman softened his tone on Tuesday. “If Minister Landver isn’t fired from the government and the defense establishment is allowed the possibility of drafting a new bill that’ll be brought for Knesset approval in the summer session, it’ll be possible to avoid fresh elections,” Liberman wrote on Facebook.
Liberman reiterated that his party would vote against the legislation, which he dubbed the “evasion bill,” and said he has no interest in early elections.
Polls released by Israel’s main news channels Monday night showed Yisrael Beytenu barely squeaking into the Knesset.
While the coalition would retain a two-seat majority if Yisrael Beytenu were to jump ship, Netanyahu has said the government cannot continue with such a slim margin.
While the crisis is ostensibly over the military exemption bill, leaders of coalition parties have insinuated that Netanyahu may be engineering the crisis in order to call early elections as a referendum of sorts on his rule, ahead of a possible indictment.
The prime minister is under investigation in multiple corruption investigations, and facing police recommendations to indict him in at least two cases. He is further embattled by deals signed recently by two of his former confidants that will see them testify against him in a third case.
Netanyahu has denied doing so and repeatedly stressed he has no interest in early elections.
Alexander Fulbright and Raoul Wootliff contributed to this report.
Dec 04, 2018 0
The Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration — which seeks to criminalize criticism of migration — is nothing more or less than a dangerous effort to weaken national borders, to normalize mass migration, to blur the line between legal and illegal immigration, and to bolster the idea that people claiming to be refugees enjoy a panoply of rights in countries where they have never before set foot.
One thing about the agreement, in any event, is irrefutable: almost nobody in the Western world has been clamoring for this. It is, quite simply, a project of the globalist elites. It is a UN power-grab.
The waterfront in the Chilean city of Valdivia. Photo: Arvid Puschnig via Wikimedia Commons.
Top Jewish groups have welcomed a Chilean government decision made earlier this week to ban municipalities across the country from boycotting Israel.
The ruling — issued by the Comptroller General of Chile – stemmed from a complaint filed by the Chilean Jewish community over a move of the Valdivia municipality to ban the city from signing contracts with Israel-linked companies.
New immigrants to Israel arrive at Ben-Gurion International Airport, Aug. 17, 2016. Photo: Reuters / Baz Ratner.
A top Israeli minister called on the government on Sunday to craft a “comprehensive plan” to encourage the aliyah of French Jews.
In Diaspora Affairs Minister Naftali Bennett’s view, there has been a “historic missed opportunity” in recent years to bring more French Jews to Israel as immigrants.
“There are 200,000 French Jews who want to come here, and the state bureaucracies simply aren’t prepared for it,” Bennett, who also serves as education minister and head of the right-wing HaBayit HaYehudi party, claimed at a cabinet meeting in Jerusalem. “These are ethical people, Zionists, lovers of the Jewish people and the Land of Israel, and it is our moral obligation to help them.”
Israel has started uncovering and destroying Hezbollah’s attack tunnels under the Lebanese border, but destroying the group’s ambitious precision missile project will be much more difficult.
The Israel Defense Forces placed a camera into Hezbollah’s secret cross-border attack tunnel before sunrise on Dec. 4. They pushed it into the Lebanese side, under the Blue Line that separates the two countries. At dawn, two Hezbollah operatives reached the spot on their morning rounds. In the video disseminated by the IDF on Tuesday evening, one of the operatives is seen approaching the camera with suspicion. He stuck his nose in its direction and started to sniff around until something exploded in his face and he ran back the way he’d comVisibilitye.
The timing of Operation Northern Shield, to destroy Hezbollah tunnels leading from Lebanon into Israel, suggests that considerations other than security were behind the decision to launch it.
An Israeli commando from Yahalom, an engineering unit, takes part in a tunnel-hunting drill near Tel Aviv, March 7, 2012.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu delivered a speech to Likud activists on Dec. 2 that was both defensive and combative toward law enforcement authorities. He complained about the supposedly suspicious timing of the police announcement recommending his indictment for taking bribes in Case 4000, coming as it did one day before Police Commissioner Roni Alsheikh concluded his term in office.
This week, for the first time, Israel made public its discovery of the tunnel constructed by Hezbollah and reaching into Israel’s sovereign territory. This brought to an end a long period during which a large number of Israelis living in communities adjacent to the Lebanese border reported hearing sounds of digging as well as feeling tremors in the walls of their homes.
Attack tunnels are intended to allow for significant numbers of armed infantry bearing weapons, artillery and supplies, to traverse them within a minimal time span, avoiding Israeli lookouts and thereby gaining the element of surprise.
Last Saturday, Iran’s “moderate” President Hassan Rouhani called Israel “a cancerous tumor” in a speech at the regime’s annual Islamic Unity Conference.
Rouhani’s fellow speakers included deputy Hezbollah chief Naim Qassem and Hamas chief Ismail Haniyeh. Both terror bosses called for the destruction of the “cancerous tumor.”
With the predictability of a Swiss clock, the Europeans rushed to condemn Rouhani. The EU in Brussels condemned Rouhani. The German Foreign Ministry condemned Rouhani. And so on and so forth.
We could have done without their statements.
It was clear that with the onset of Operation Northern Shield—meant to neutralize terror tunnels Hezbollah has constructed along the Israel-Lebanon border—some would call it a public relations stunt by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Those who believe the timing of the police’s recommendations in Case 4000—announced on the last day of Roni Alsheikh’s tenure as the police commissioner—was reasonable, somehow complain about the timing of the operation.
On Sunday evening, December 2, the people of Sderot, Israel – a town located a mere kilometer from the Gaza border – gathered to light the first candle of the town’s menorah to commemorate the first day of Hanukkah. Jews around the world celebrate this holiday, which marks the time some two millennia ago when the Jews regained control of Jerusalem and rededicated the Second Temple.
What makes the candle lighting in Sderot worth mentioning is the fact that it is particularly symbolic of how the Jewish spirit looks for ways to turn tragedy into triumph.
This is obviously a short-lived honeymoon that will end the day after the UN General Assembly vote on the anti-Hamas resolution. The morning after the vote, Abbas will wake up to the realization that Hamas was a strange bedfellow indeed.
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’s hatred of Hamas is far from secret. But Abbas is now defending Hamas because he despises the Trump administration, which has sponsored a UN draft resolution that condemns Hamas. Pictured: Abbas (right) meets with Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh on May 30, 2007 in the Gaza Strip. (Photo by Abu Askar/PPO via Getty Images)