Following a series of what unkind commenters have called bribes to the Ra'am party to obtain its support in various votes and procedures, it now appears that sanctions could instead be on the table, after Ra'am party member Mazen Ghanaim voted against the government on the Judea & Samaria bill, helping to kill it.
According to a report on Reshet Bet, hundreds of millions of shekels that were to have been transferred to Ra'am for a project in the town of Jisr az-Zarqa are now being frozen and will no longer be advanced by the government.
Ra'am came under fire by coalition heads again after the Judea & Samaria vote, when the entire party voted in favor of a bill to raise the minimum wage - a bill submitted by the opposition Joint List party and vehemently opposed by most coalition parties (other than Labor and Meretz, which absented themselves from the vote so as not to openly breach coalition discipline).
Of all the options under consideration to punish Ra'am for its insubordination, the current proposal is apparently the harshest. It is unknown how Ra'am is likely to react, and certain coalition members have already expressed their skepticism regarding the likelihood that it will prove effective, suggesting that the more likely scenario is that it will prompt Ra'am to adopt an even more obstinate stance.
Meanwhile, Yamina party director Stella Weinstein was interviewed on Radio 103FM and insisted that she remains optimistic regarding the coalition's prospects.
"This coalition is extremely heterogenous which is not a simple situation at all," she said, "but I very much hope and indeed believe that together, we will succeed in reaching the right decisions."
With regard to the possibility that Yamina MK Nir Orbach will be the next to jump ship, Weinstein said, "I haven't spoken with him, but I trust him and I know him to be a good and sensible person. I hope that we will continue to work together for the benefit of Israeli citizens, as there is still a lot we need to accomplish."
Weinstein was far less sympathetic to Yamina MK Idit Silman who has already jumped ship, insisting that she should be expelled from the party. "That is my position - in fact, I think we need to take additional steps against her," she said, without relating to threats Silman is alleged to have made that she will release damaging material on MK Orbach if she is thrown out of the party.