Is Netanyahu coming to the end of his time ? Does he want to force an election or agree to a coalition compromise ?

March 13, 2018
Arthur Goodman
Awaiting the Attorney General's decision whether to indict him, and with rivals circling, is Binyanimn Netanyahu's era as Prime Minister nearing its end ?

Binyamin Netanyahu with Israeli flag

Ben Caspit, in AL Monitor, writes, “This article is being written at a time when Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government is hanging by a thread, its ultimate fate unknown. The prime minister himself is the one trying to push for snap elections, while his coalition partners are digging in and trying to prevent him from doing so.”

!The ultra-Orthodox draft crisis over amending the army enlistment law, which lit the fire that is running wild now, was not born yesterday. It has accompanied Israel ever since the inception of the state, and it has reached even higher peaks than now. The feud is now being waged between the ultra-Orthodox factions, who want to perpetuate the exemption of ultra-Orthodox Jews from being drafted into the Israel Defense Forces, and Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman and his Yisrael Beitenu faction, who insist on enforcing the draft. This issue could be solved now the same way as was done in the past: by a temporary compromise, on the way to a temporary arrangement, until the Supreme Court steps in again to set limits and open the struggle anew.” (read more)

Dalia Scheindlin, in +972, writes, “He wants them, he wants them not, he wants them, he wants them not. Over the last two weeks, the sport of Netanyahu psychoanalysis in the Israeli press over the possibility of snap elections has taken on a feverish tone. He doesn’t want them because he loves holding onto power. Because he wants to prove that of all Israeli leaders he alone is capable of sitting out a term and proving himself King Bibi, the longest-serving prime minister in the country’s history. Should he resolve the current coalition crisis — on the issue of drafting the ultra-Orthodox into the IDF— in addition to being the only statesman who speaks American, or speaks Trump, or speaks AIPAC, he will also brand himself the only responsible adult at home.

On the other hand, he does want elections. Through the irritating fog of corruption investigations, he can’t keep his eyes off those tantalizing surveys. Most have Likud winning by a healthy margin of three to five seats over the second-ranked party, Yesh Atid. Until recently, none showed Likud going beyond the 30 seats it won in the 2015 elections – until a survey published by Israel Hayom last Friday. Never mind that Israel Hayom is to Bibi what Brietbart is to Trump. When a survey dangles 34 seats before your eyes, suddenly there’s a coalition crisis around every corner. (read more)

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