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

Knesset Members from the left and the right responded on Monday night to the likely possibility of early elections, following the five conditions set for Finance Minister Yair Lapid by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu.

MK Danny Danon (Likud) blamed Lapid for the coalition crisis, saying, "The rookie Lapid and the leftist partners that were forced upon us have brought us into an unnecessary and expensive election, at the end of which Likud will win again. This time, unlike the current government, we will choose worthy partners to serve in the government.”

Coalition chairman MK Ze’ev Elkin (Likud) called on Lapid to accept Netanyahu’s five conditions and remain in the government.

“I call on Finance Minister Yair Lapid to accept the conditions set by the Prime Minister and not drag the State of Israel to elections. There is no reason for Lapid’s recalcitrance to give the IDF the minimum budget required for proper operation, as decided in the government, and there is no reason for him to insist on the 0% VAT program which, in the opinion of most experts, will only enrich contractors,” said Elkin.

Deputy Minister Ofir Akunis (Likud) said that “there is no future with Lapid”, a play on the name of the Finance Minister’s party.

“Yesh Atid dragged Israel into unnecessary elections and dismantled the coalition," he said. "For two months I have been warning that the behavior of the coalition partners, primarily Yesh Atid and Hatnua, is not acceptable and will result in new elections. There was not one day that these parties backed the Likud policies. There is no escaping new elections.”

Housing Minister Uri Ariel (Jewish Home) said that the government “is falling because of the bad advice of Lapid’s advisors, to go with the 0% VAT plan just so he doesn’t go with the price target plan that was identified with Minister Ariel.”

MK Yifat Kariv (Yesh Atid) blamed Netanyahu for the crisis, accusing him of “preferring political interests over the good of the public”.

“Once again the State of Israel is headed towards having no budget and no real prospects for young couples. It is time that the Prime Minister remember that Israel is not his own private business,” she said.

Opposition leader MK Yitzhak Herzog (Labor) said that "the people do not trust this government, elections should be held as soon as possible to replace the government."

"The Labor party will lead the bloc that will win the election and give hope and a new reality for the citizens of Israel," he added.

Shas Chairman MK Aryeh Deri called on the heads of all the parties in the Knesset to meet immediately and reach an agreement on a date for elections.

"The people of Israel deserve a socially oriented government that will work for them and not against them. Shas will demand the following conditions for any government that is formed: 30 shekels minimum wage, and the abolition of VAT on basic commodities,” he said.

A meeting between Lapid and Netanyahu on Monday night, in an attempt to iron out the differences between the parties that have paralyzed the coalition, was determined to be a failure after Netanyahu set five impossible conditions for Lapid to meet.

The most difficult of these conditions, according to analysts, was Netanyahu’s demand that Lapid give up on the 0% VAT law, which he had been aggressively pushing.