Netanyahu 'Close to Calling Elections', Say Aides

PM Netanyahu is close to making a decision regarding elections, regardless of what happens with the Jewish State Law.

Uzi Baruch and Elad Benari ,

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu
Miriam Alster/Flash 90

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu is close to making a decision regarding elections, his associates said Saturday night.

According to the associates, Netanyahu is closer than ever to deciding on early elections, despite the fact that the vote on the controversial Jewish State Law has been postponed for a second time.

They further said that Netanyahu’s decision on early elections is not dependent on a vote on the Jewish State Law and that he planned to reach an agreement on the law with his coalition partners in any case.

Netanyahu feels that the under the current coalition it is hard to run a country and so it is necessary to make decisions, the associates noted.

The comments on Saturday night are in line with ones Netanyahu recently made in closed conversations and which were revealed by Channel 2 News on Friday.

“One cannot govern under the present situation,” Netanyahu reportedly told his aides, accusing Finance Minister Yair Lapid of trying to carry out a putsch with the hareidi parties and establish an alternative government in the current Knesset, together with the hareidim and with the Labor party.

"The way the government is functioning now, we cannot continue," added Netanyahu in these closed conversations.

On Wednesday it was reported that Netanyahu, sensing that the coalition was headed towards a wall over the Jewish State Law, had offered hareidi parties Shas and United Torah Judaism (UTJ) a deal, according to which they will recommend that he form the next government, and he in turn will announce early elections.

However, a top hareidi political source told Arutz Sheva on Thursday that there is no “deal” brewing right now between Netanyahu and hareidi parties.

Another report on Thursday said that Netanyahu is considering calling early elections by passing a law dissolving the current Knesset. Netanyahu is reportedly waiting to hear from the hareidim whether they would cooperate with him and recommend him to form the next government, and their response will dictate what he does next.