MK Ze’ev Elkin
MK Ze’ev Elkin Flash 90

If the coalition indeed collapses, it will not be because of the Jewish State Law, coalition chairman MK Ze’ev Elkin (Likud) said Sunday night.

Speaking to Channel 2 News, Elkin said that he is open to negotiations on changing the wording of the controversial law, of which he is one of the authors and to which Justice Minister Tzipi Livni and Finance Minister Yair Lapid are vehemently opposed.

"My version of the Jewish State Law is currently on the agenda. If I see a genuine process of dialogue and the prime minister will ask, I am open to dialogue [on rewording the text] because we do not seek to overthrow the government or fight by force,” he said, adding, “If we have to wait a week or two to reach an acceptable version, that is not what will topple this government.”

Elkin, who spoke just hours before Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu is to meet with Lapid and Livni, said that the current situation cannot continue and that Netanyahu is still willing to reach a compromise that will end the current crisis.

"It all depends on the Finance Minister," he said, adding, "The situation right now is unbearable and is creating a new crisis when it comes to the defense budget, and not just the issue of the IDF’s move to the Negev. This crisis may disable military operations.”

Elkin continued, “What is going on here is probably unprecedented in Israeli politics. Coalition partners, led by Lapid and Livni, want to handle the Prime Minister as if they received public confidence to run the country. This cannot continue in this manner, and the attempt to organize a putsch is unprecedented. The Prime Minister is trying to be patient and look for a solution.”

“If the coalition partners declare and understand that they need to change their conduct, we can find a solution to all the crises,” he concluded.

The crisis over the Jewish State Law is only the latest in a series of crises between Netanyahu and his coalition partners.  Previous spats revolved around the 2015 state budget and Lapid’s 0% VAT law, which Netanyahu has tried to shelve.

The never-ending disagreements have led to speculations that Netanyahu might dissolve the Knesset or form some sort of alliance with the hareidi parties.