By Yehuda Shlezinger , i24NEWS and Israel Hayom Staff—
Former defense minister Avigdor Liberman said on Friday that Israel might be “on its way to elections” after his party refused to join a coalition due to a disagreement over the haredi draft law.
Speaking to Israel’s Channel 13, the secular-nationalist Yisrael Beytenu party leader said Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud had conducted the coalition talks “in an arrogant and pathetic manner.”
In a column published in the Yedioth Ahronoth daily Friday morning, Lieberman – who quit in the wake of a Gaza confrontation in November 2018, precipitating the last elections – said his uncompromising stance on the draft law was mostly a matter of principle.
“The system being built within the State of Israel is a threat to the character and fabric of Israeli society as a whole,” he wrote, “because of the values on which young people grow up within haredi [ultra-Orthodox] society.”
Other right-wing parties agreed to enter a coalition on Thursday, but are missing one seat in order to achieve a majority – with Yisrael Beytenu’s five MKs necessary to push them comfortably over the threshold.
With the deadline for forming a new government fast approaching – just four days away – there is growing speculation that Netanyahu would try to call, or threaten to call, early elections.
According to political insiders who spoke with Israel Hayom, Netanyahu may soon draft a bill to dissolve the Knesset, figuring another march to the polls is the only means of breaking the impasse in the coalition talks.
The sources said that Netanyahu had come to the conclusion that Lieberman was no longer holding negotiations in good faith and was not planning on joining Netanyahu’s fifth government, should it form. Continue Reading…