web analytics
October 21, 2014 / 27 Tishri, 5775
At a Glance
News & Views
Sponsored Post
Meir Panim with Soldiers 5774 Roundup: Year of Relief and Service for Israel’s Needy

Meir Panim implements programs that serve Israel’s neediest populations with respect and dignity. Meir Panim also coordinated care packages for families in the South during the Gaza War.



One Year Later, Team Of Rivals Rules Netanyahu’s Difficult Coalition

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks at the Weizmann Institute during the National Science Day events, on Tuesday, March 25, 2014. Photo by Kobi Gideon/GPO/ Flash 90

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks at the Weizmann Institute during the National Science Day events, on Tuesday, March 25, 2014. Photo by Kobi Gideon/GPO/ Flash 90

TEL AVIV – In the lead-up to last year’s Knesset elections, the pro-settlement Jewish Home party released a controversial ad showing party chairman Naftali Bennett smiling alongside Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

The message was clear: Netanyahu will be prime minister, but a vote for Jewish Home would give Bennett what he called “a hand on the steering wheel.”

More than having a hand on the wheel, the year since the formation of the new government has seen Jewish Home and the coalition’s other smaller parties driving much of the government’s agenda. Netanyahu’s Likud party has taken a back seat on everything besides security affairs.

Finance Minister Yair Lapid, head of the centrist Yesh Atid party, passed a controversial austerity budget and advanced a bill to conscript haredi Israelis. Tzipi Livni, founder of the small Hatnua party, led the first substantive talks with the Palestinian Authority since 2008. Bennett advanced a string of parliamentary bills focused on religion-state reforms.

Netanyahu, meanwhile, has spent much of the past year fighting the same battles he fought in his last term, arguing for a more aggressive stance toward Iran’s nuclear program and taking a hard line on Israel’s security concerns.

With Netanyahu presiding over a team of rivals – a more difficult coalition than the relatively stable right-wing government of his previous term – many of the government’s initiatives have come from his partners, not him.

“What interests Netanyahu is the status quo,” Hebrew University political science professor Gideon Rahat said. “His style is not to do too much. Everyone else makes noise on smaller things.”

Lapid’s budget drew protests for raising taxes and cutting benefits, but proposed religious and social reforms have drawn the most attention.

As the first government without haredi parties in more than a decade, the coalition was able to pass some major legislation eliminating haredi privileges without falling apart. The government cut subsidies to large haredi families and sent the first government paychecks to non-Orthodox rabbis. Bills conscripting haredim and advancing gay parenting rights are close to passage.

The government also has moved toward forcing publicly funded haredi schools to teach English and math, as well as implementing an interdenominational compromise on the Western Wall. Yesh Atid is pushing legislation that would establish civil unions in Israel.

Not all the coalition members concur on the legislation involving haredim. Yesh Atid and Jewish Home broadly agree that haredim must be integrated and religious regulations streamlined, but they disagree on how.

Yesh Atid, a largely secularist party, campaigned on religious and social reforms, particularly on conscription and marriage. Jewish Home, which is largely Modern Orthodox, has blocked some of the changes promised by Yesh Atid, opting instead to make religious bureaucracy more accessible while leaving core policies intact.

Their conflict payed out during the recent debate over the haredi draft bill. Following threats by Yesh Atid to quit the coalition, the bill now includes prison time for haredim who refuse to enlist. But because of pressure from Jewish Home, the penalties won’t take effect until 2017 – enough time for haredim to run in another election and possibly re-enter the governing coalition, where they could roll back the law.

The cause of greatest acrimony has been the peace talks. Hatnua was founded to advance Israeli-Palestinian peace. Jewish Home opposes a Palestinian state of any kind and supports settlement growth. Yesh Atid, once a quiet supporter of negotiations, has since become a stronger voice for a two-state solution, widening its rift with Jewish Home.

To jump-start Israeli-Palestinian negotiations last summer, Israel agreed to an unpopular prisoner release. As the talks progressed, Jewish Home threatened to leave the coalition. But eight months later, peace talks are on the verge of collapse and the sides seem to be no closer to a deal.

About the Author:


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

One Response to “One Year Later, Team Of Rivals Rules Netanyahu’s Difficult Coalition”

  1. Jean Perles says:

    WATCH: The F-35 Lightning II Plane Can Carry Nuclear Weapons

    The Lockheed Martin Company, which manufactures the most advanced aircraft, implemented changes in the software and weapons system in order so that their planes can carry nuclear weapons. A US official refused to state whether Israel requested to implement the changes to the 19 F-35 Lightning II planes that were purchased and will go into service in 2017.

    Mar 26, 2014, 12:30PM | Dana Nasi

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Facebook post from man believed to be Canadian convert to Islam who rammed soldiers with his car in possible terrorist attack, Oct. 20, 2014.
‘Radicalized’ Convert to Islam Attempted to Murder Canadian Soldiers [video]
Latest News Stories
Route for weapons shipment to Gaza from Iran.

After lying in coma for months, 83-year-old Ayatollah Mohammad Reza Mahdavi Kani has died, Iranian media reported Tuesday.

Facebook post from man believed to be Canadian convert to Islam who rammed soldiers with his car in possible terrorist attack, Oct. 20, 2014.

A radicalized Canadian convert to Islam rammed soldiers in what may have been an act of terrorism.

PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas speaking in Ramallah. (archive)

PA unity govt chairman Mahmoud Abbas raises the penalty for selling land to a “hostile nation” (Jew).

Israel sends supplies to combat Ebola virus outbreak in Sierra Leona.

Israel’s government is recruiting citizens to help combat the Ebola virus epidemic in West Africa.

The Beach Boys aren’t coming to Israel next month…

The Jerusalem Light Rail has finally instituted a ‘zero tolerance’ police towards Arab violence against its trains.

A 2,000 year old stone fragment bearing an official Latin inscription dedicated to the Roman Emperor Hadrian is found in Jerusalem.

The woman’s father and other ISIS members stoned the woman to death for adultery.

Hamas has created a museum exhibit, currently showing at al-Aqsa University in Khan Younis, Gaza. Hamas is showing off its weapons and propaganda pieces from this past summer’s war, Operation Protective Edge.  

A bill that would end the control of the Chief Rabbinate over conversions to Judaism in Israel was nixed Monday by PM Netanyahu.

Haaretz smears U.S. terrorism expert for being a Republican and friend of Sheldon Adelson.

Leslie W., 48, and his partner Akiwa H., 56, are charged with having sold more than 88,000 pounds of non-kosher meat for a marked-up price.

The Rabbinical Council of America said that since the arrest last week of Rabbi Barry Freundel of Washington, DC, it has been working assiduously to address the many challenges that its members and their communities now face.

It was an outright miracle: a tiny teahouse in the pass, and the equivalent of a Sherpa Pony Express to deliver a call for help.

ISIS propaganda video warns “our grandchildren will sell your sons as slaves.”

More Articles from Ben Sales
Israeli winery

“You want to know what this wine looked like, which wine King David drank, white or red…. We can see if it’s red or white, strong or weak.”

IDF soldiers rush injured Israelis to Soroka Hospital in Beersheva after a mortar fired from Gaza exploded at an army staging area near Kibbutz Nirim, close to the Gaza border. The attack occurred shortly before a cease-fire went into effect on Tuesday. Three Israelis visiting the area were hit; two of them died of their wounds.

After a month, should the quiet hold, Israel and Hamas will restart indirect negotiations in Cairo on easing Israel’s blockade of the coastal strip and disarming the enclave.

Shlomy Zachary, an Israeli human rights lawyer, noted that Israeli cooperation with previous UN investigations has helped mitigate criticism of Israel – for example, in a 2010 UN investigation of the so-called flotilla incident.

Smart bombs: Israeli war technology isn’t limited to the home front.

“The values I learned from my parents are probably the same values I hope Christians and Muslims and Hindus and Buddhists teach to their people.”

On Monday, Lapid told JTA that he would sooner agree to freeze settlement growth than free Palestinian prisoners, as Netanyahu has done previously in an effort to advance the process.

“He was like everyone else,” she said. “He was serious. He wouldn’t mess around. He would do what I said. He was quiet a lot and thought a lot. He did everything well.”

More than having a hand on the wheel, the year since the formation of the new government has seen Jewish Home and the coalition’s other smaller parties driving much of the government’s agenda. Netanyahu’s Likud party has taken a back seat on everything besides security affairs.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/israel/government-israel/one-year-later-team-of-rivals-rules-netanyahus-difficult-coalition/2014/03/26/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: