Coalition crisis: Could Israel be heading towards another election?

The Israeli government crisis is worsening. Coalition leader Bitan stated that Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu has rescinded the agreements that were reached with Israeli Finance Minister Kahlon concerning the Israeli Broadcasting Corporation. Netanyahu convened an urgent consultation with senior-level Likud ministers regarding the conduct of the partnering political parties.
The coalition in crisis Photo Credit: Alex Kolomoisky/Flash90

This afternoon (Saturday), Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu assembled an urgent consultation with Israeli coalition leader David Bitan and his Likud minister confidants Miri Regev, Yariv Levin and Tzachi Hanegbi. The discussion dealt with the coalition’s partnering political parties’ failure to comply with their agreement concerning the Israeli Broadcasting Corporation as well as other subjects. “The prime minister has rescinded his agreements with Finance Minister Kahlon regarding the corporation,” said MK David Bitan during an interview on Israel’s Meet the Press.

The consensus between the senior-level Likud officials during their meeting was that the current situation cannot continue. “If the situation where they try to impose stances on us that we don’t want continues, we may go to an election,” said MK Bitan. “The Likud leads the coalition and the government. We have 30 mandates. They cannot come to us with demands all the time and impose their agendas on us without respecting our ideas.”

Bitan continued explaining that the Likud Party will not agree to any circumstance where a broadcasting corporation is established, in contrast to the agreement between Netanyahu and Kahlon last week. “The fact that we established a corporation in the last government is true,” Bitan noted. “The fact that we don’t want the corporation is also true. We expect our coalition partners to say that ‘without us it’s impossible.’ We expect Kahlon to stand by us just as we stand by him.”

MK David Bitan Photo Credit: Miriam Alster/Flash90

Supposedly, a meeting Netanyahu held yesterday with Israel Broadcasting Authority workers is what caused Netanyahu to change his mind. “I changed my mind following a meeting that I held yesterday with Israel Broadcasting Authority workers,” Netanyahu wrote on his Facebook page this evening. “At the meeting, I heard heartbreaking stories about dedicated and experienced employees who are being sent home because of the corporation.”

Netanyahu also wrote that during the meeting, it became clear to him that contrary to Israeli Finance Ministry data, the cost to continue running the Israel Broadcasting Authority is tens of millions of shekels cheaper than what the corporation costs.

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