Efforts to reach compromise on draft law continue

MK Uri Maklev accuses Likud of not trying to solve the crisis, as Netanyahu holds talks with ministers Levin and Liberman this evening.

Nitsan Keidar,

Kahlon and Litzman
Kahlon and Litzman
Yonatan Sindel/Flash 90

MK Uri Maklev (United Torah Judaism) on Sunday night accused the Likud of not really wanting to solve the crisis surrounding the draft law.

"If Bibi wants elections, he will do it without any connection to us. We submitted a proposal and the Likud, aside from rejecting the proposal, did not bring any other solution to the discussion," said Maklev.

He added that "to say that the demand to pass the draft law is 'extortion' - this is a false accusation. Anyone who was involved knows that the draft bills that we submitted came after processes that took months and even received the consent of the state’s legal advisers. We are not asking for anything more than the Supreme Court ruled."

"We have no problems with the finance minister or with the Kulanu faction," continued Maklev. "Our demand is from the ruling party. We welcome the budget, it is good and important for the people of Israel, but there is no significance to passing the budget at this time, and we hope that we will reach a situation in which we are forced to vote against the budget.”

"There are dozens of laws discussed by the various committees that we do not like, but we align ourselves with the decisions of the coalition, so why does our demand become ‘blackmail’? How is it different from any other law that comes up in the coalition? Why is it that, when we bring a law, it is described as blackmail while other hallucinatory bills are legitimate requests?” he concluded.

Earlier on Sunday, Finance Committee chairman MK Moshe Gafni (United Torah Judaism) echoed Deputy Health Minister Yaakov Litzman's call for new elections if a law permanently exempting yeshiva students from IDF service is not passed.

"I think things are being done here that are not fair in terms of the coalition, but we will wait to see if it will work out in the end. If it does not work out, we will go to elections," he said.

On Saturday night, before he left for Washington, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said there was no reason for early elections in the wake of the disagreements over the draft law.

"There is no reason for this to happen, and with some good will it will not happen. I have a good will, I hope the other partners do as well. If that is the case we will not go to elections and this government can conclude its term on time, in 2019,” he said.

In the meantime, it appears as though the prime minister is continuing his efforts to solve the crisis even while he is overseas. On Sunday evening he spoke with ministers Yariv Levin and Avigdor Liberman in an attempt to come up with a compromise that would allow for the passing of the draft law, albeit in a different or softened form.

It is also believed that United Torah Judaism and Kulanu, which on Friday threatened elections unless the state budget is approved on schedule, are also working together to find a solution to the crisis that will not lead to elections.