No progress has been made over Sunday to resolve the crisis in the coalition, with both sides standing firm on their positions.
Photo credit: Miriam Alster, Flash 90/Channel 2 News
The coalition crisis has no end in sight as HaBayit Hayehudi Chairman MK Naftali Bennett is not backing down from his demand that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu make significant changes to the Security Cabinet that would ensure the sharing of intelligence with all ministers. Netanyahu, who hasn’t contacted Bennett at all since Sunday morning, told his confidants that “there is no point in trying to come up with a compromise because Bennett is interested in a confrontation.”
This causes further postponement of the Knesset’s vote on the appointment of Yisrael Beiteinu Chairman MK Avigdor Lieberman as Defense Minister, which has already been delayed several times. As of now, the vote is scheduled to take place on Wednesday.
Over the weekend, in an attempt to resolve the dispute, Netanyahu unilaterally announced the establishment of a committee which would examine the Cabinet’s performance and publish its recommendations within three weeks. This did not satisfy Bennett, who publicly rejected this proposal and called it a “spin” that wouldn’t do anything to save human lives.
HaBayit Hayehudi officials claimed on Sunday that all of the Cabinet ministers agree with Bennett’s position “off the record” but are not willing to declare it. They say Bennett’s requests are legitimate and that Netanyahu is being stubborn for no reason.
On the Likud side, however, Bennett is being blamed for causing a major crisis over a small technical issue. “The Prime Minister has been hurt by Bennett’s behavior,” a senior Likud official told Channel 2 News. “He was the one who pushed to add Lieberman to the government and now he is setting an ultimatum that has nothing to do with it.”
The official added that he doesn’t expect this dispute to bring to the government’s dissolution. “It will probably be resolved at the last minute,” he said. “This isn’t something worth going to elections for.”