Netanyahu: Compromise or Else...

PM Netanyahu to warn the heads of the parties in his coalition that unless they find ways to compromise, new elections will be held.

Elad Benari,

Israeli cabinet meeting (archive)
Israeli cabinet meeting (archive)
Flash 90

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu plans to warn the heads of the parties in his coalition that unless they compromise on issues of religion and state, the coalition will fall apart and new elections will be held, Channel 2 News reports.

According to the report, Netanyahu plans to relay this message in a meeting with the heads of the coalition parties that will be held on Wednesday.

The latest crisis in the coalition is centered around Netanyahu’s sudden decision to drop his support for the Conversion Bill, which was introduced by Hatnua. Monday’s decision is being perceived as Netanyahu’s way of cooking up a deal with the hareidi parties so he can include them in the new coalition he forms after the next elections.

Netanyahu’s decision regarding the Conversion Bill has particularly angered MK Elazar Stern of Hatnua, who proposed the bill. According to Channel 2, Stern is threatening to not only leave the coalition but also resign from Hatnua unless the bill is promoted.

The report noted that Stern has been claiming in conversations with close associates that he is not the only MK who feels this way and that “I have at least one more MK” who would resign along with him.

In addition to Stern, Hatnua MK Amram Mitzna has also opined that the party should leave the coalition, due to the lack of progress in Israel-Palestinian Authority peace talks. Environment Protection Minister Amir Peretz has also criticized the coalition.

Stern and his colleagues, however, are not Netanyahu’s only problem, according to Channel 2 News. Economy Minister Naftali Bennett has also threatened to resign if the silent construction freeze in Judea and Samaria continues, according to the report.

Even if Netanyahu is indeed forced to hold early elections, he is reportedly not worried about the possibility that he will not be re-elected for another term as prime minister, especially given the latest polls. A poll last month gave the Likud 25 seats and a clear majority to the traditional religious-right-wing bloc (72, up from current 61).


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