Two coalition MKs who recently joined former Likud MK Gideon Sa’ar’s newly-formed party warned that they would not accept a compromise deal between the Likud and Blue and White to keep the government afloat, threatening to resign from the government if new elections aren’t set.
Communication Minister Yoaz Hendel and chief of the Knesset’s Foreign Affairs Committee MK Zvi Hauser said Monday afternoon that if the 23rd Knesset is not dissolved and snap elections called, they will resign from their positions in the government.
“We will not support additional compromises,” Hendel and Hauser said in a joint statement.
“We support dissolving the Knesset to go back to the voters to have them replace Netanyahu. If the coalition decides on another extension, we will resign our positions.”
Earlier this year, the two lawmakers – who together make up the Derech Eretz faction which split off from Telem – orchestrated a compromise arrangement between Likud and Blue and White, pushing off the deadline for a state budget to prevent the immediate collapse of the government.
Blue and White has feuded with the Likud for months over passage of a spending plan, demanding the Likud honor its coalition agreement to pass a two-year budget. The Likud, on the other hand, has argued that given the resurgence of the coronavirus, only a single-year plan should be passed.
On December 2nd, the Knesset voted 61 to 54 to giving preliminary support for a bill sponsored by opposition parties calling for the dissolution of the 23rd Knesset and new elections – Israel’s fourth general election in under two years.
Blue and White backed the bill, defying the Likud’s call to vote the measure down, amid the ongoing dispute over the state budget, with no spending bill passed ahead of the December 23rd deadline.
While the Knesset House Committee approved the bill last week for its full three votes in the Knesset plenum, tentatively setting the date for new elections as March 16th, 2021, the bill has been prevented from being brought for a vote, with the Likud forcing the dissolution bill off of the Knesset plenum’s agenda for Tuesday.