Photo Credit: Hadas Parush / Flash 90
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at a plenum session in the Israeli parliament, seen with Education Minister Naftali Bennett and Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon on March 13, 2018.

After a truly intricate dance between a nor’easter of raindrops, the Netanyahu government coalition has managed to avoid a coalition collapse and the inevitable early elections that would result.

The agreement worked out between the parties states plainly that a stable government is in Israel’s best interest, and that all coalition party heads have agreed to work together in order to ensure the long-term survival of the coalition government.


That having been said, the deal worked out is truly one of epic complexity, involving marathon – separate – meetings between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and various ministers to figure out ways to resolve the crisis and avoid early elections, including Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon, Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman and Education Minister Naftali Bennett.

Coalition party heads agreed on a compromise that will see Liberman’s Yisrael Beytenu party voting against the IDF draft bill that is destined to pass its first reading Tuesday night in the Knesset plenum. The measure sets a low goal for the number of yeshiva students the hareidi-religious community must send to the Israel Defense Forces – the number is close to the actual number already enlisting on their own – and exempts the rest.

The Ministerial Committee for Legislation will discuss an appeal filed by Yisrael Beytenu’s MK Sofa Landver prior to the reading and then will vote in favor of allowing each party the right to vote in accordance with the directive of its party leadership.

Liberman then has four weeks following the Passover break to submit a state bill regarding the military draft for hareidi-religious recruits, which is to be approved by the Committee and then passed in its first reading by the Knesset plenum, after which another piece of legislation – proposed by a Shas lawmaker – will be tacked on to it. That merged bill will then be presented to the Knesset plenum for a second and third reading.

And then everyone will breathe a sigh of relief, prepare for Israel’s 70th Independence Day celebrations, and hopefully manage to not step into any more “situations” until at least after Shavuot.


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