September 17, 2019

Netanyahu's Coalition of Underdogs

“Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu desperately needs to conclude coalition talks by May 28. His future coalition should serve to protect him from impending indictment.

But the serious crisis encumbering coalition negotiations over the last few days has injected a modicum of hope into the opposition. The conflict between Yisrael Beitenu Chairman Avigdor Liberman and the prime minister gives the opposition reason to think that Netanyahu’s future “anti-immunity coalition’’ is crumbling. The fact of the matter is, however, that the current crisis has little to do with any planned legal reforms intended to keep Netanyahu from having to stand trial.

Actually, Liberman blew up the talks over the Conscription Law. The ultra-Orthodox parties are against Liberman’s draft law for ultra-Orthodox army enlistment. Liberman claims that ultra-Orthodox are trying to extort Netanyahu, conditioning joining to the coalition on changing that draft and canceling enlistment. These claims by Liberman and his insistence have plunged Netanyahu into a coalition dilemma with no easy resolution in sight. Still, Liberman is not taking a stand in defense of the Supreme Court. Nor, for that matter, does he have any plans to recommend someone else to form the government. At least that’s what he says.”

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