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Netanyahu fights against time to build government as deadline looms

World Israel News logo

Netanyahu is up against the clock to create a governing coalition as time runs out at midnight on Wednesday.

By David Isaac, World Israel News

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is struggling to form a coalition in a scenario he probably didn’t predict when he led a decisive right-wing victory in Israel’s elections last month.

But there appears to be a real chance he will not succeed in cobbling together a government before the deadline of midnight Wednesday.

The Likud seems to be preparing for this worst-case scenario. Following a Likud meeting on Sunday afternoon, Likud MK Miki Zohar sounded a pessimistic note, saying “it appears that the Knesset will dissolve on Wednesday night,” meaning a government will not be formed.

Today, Zohar will present a motion to dissolve the Knesset, the Ynet news site reports.

Netanyahu however is still making a last-ditch effort to build a coalition. On Saturday, he huddled with his party’s main negotiators at his home in Caesarea to see if there was a path forward. The meeting followed numerous failed attempts last week to bridge the gap on the main issue.

The sticking point is the military conscription bill, which is geared to drafting male seminary students from the haredi sector, sometimes referred to as the ultra-Orthodox, into the Israeli Army. The issue has caused a great deal of friction in Israeli society over the years, as the general population views haredim as not doing their fair share in a country where serving in the military is mandatory.

Two of Netanyahu’s potential coalition partners stand at opposite ends of the debate. Both have dug in their heels, grinding negotiations to a halt.

The first, United Torah Judaism, led by Yaakov Litzman, is a haredi party and wants to see changes made to the bill that would water it down. It is joined by the Shas party, another haredi party. Together, they control 16 seats in the Knesset.

On the other side stands the Israel Beiteinu party led by Avigdor Liberman. He refuses to join the coalition if any modifications are made to the proposed law. His party holds five seats.

Netanyahu needs all three parties if he wishes to govern. With those three, plus other smaller parties, he would have a comfortable 65-seat majority in the 120-seat Knesset.

According to reports, the haredi parties had shown a willingness to compromise but Liberman remained unyielding, which would explain why the Likud publicly berated the Israel Beiteinu leader in an attempt to pressure him to return to the negotiating table. Liberman has so far proven resistant to pressure.

On Saturday, Liberman went on the attack, taking a crack at Netanyahu in a Facebook post: “The right isn’t a personality cult. The right comprises values. Army service was always an uppermost value in the worldview of the nationalist camp.”

If Israel goes to back-to-back elections, it will be the first time in the country’s history.

But there’s a possibility that the opposition will be handed a chance to form a government, or even another member of the Likud party.

It is clear that the opposition, led by Blue and White party leader Benny Gantz, feels it deserves a chance. Ynet reports that a senior Blue and White official said that it wouldn’t support MK Zohar’s proposal to dissolve the Knesset “if we don’t first get the possibility to form a government first.”

“The law says that if Netanyahu can’t form a government, we or another Knesset member from the Likud should have the opportunity,” a second senior Blue and White member said, the paper reports.

随着时间在周三午夜结束,内塔尼亚胡与时间紧密相连以建立执政联盟。

世界以色列新闻大卫艾萨克

总理本杰明·内塔尼亚胡正在努力组建一个联盟,他可能没有预测何时他在上个月的以色列选举中领导了一场决定性的右翼胜利。

但是,他似乎很有可能在星期三午夜的截止日期之前不能成功地将政府拼凑起来。

利库德集团似乎正在为这种最糟糕的情况做准备。在星期天下午举行的利库德集团会议之后,Likud MK Miki Zohar发出了悲观的声音,称“看来议会将于周三晚上解散”,这意味着政府不会成立。

据Ynet新闻网站报道,今天,Zohar将提出解散议会的动议。

然而,内塔尼亚胡仍在努力建立一个联盟。星期六,他在凯撒利亚的家中与他的政党主要谈判代表蜷缩在一起,看看是否有前进的道路。上周会议之前举行了多次失败的尝试,以弥合主要问题上的差距。

关键点是军事征兵法案,该法案旨在起草从哈雷迪部门(有时被称为极端正统派)进入以色列军队的男性神学院学生。多年来,这个问题引起了以色列社会的巨大摩擦,因为一般人认为haredim在一个强制要求在军队服役的国家没有公平分享。

内塔尼亚胡的两个潜在联盟伙伴站在辩论的两端。两人都紧追不舍,谈判陷入僵局。

第一个由Yaakov Litzman领导的United Torah犹太教是一个haredi派对,他希望看到对法案进行修改,这将使其失败。 Shas派对加入了另一个haredi派对。他们共同控制了以色列议会的16个席位。

另一边是Avigdor Liberman领导的以色列Beiteinu派对。如果对拟议的法律进行任何修改,他拒绝加入联盟。他的政党拥有五个席位。

内塔尼亚胡如果希望执政,就需要三方。有了这三个,再加上其他小型派对,他在120个座位的议会中拥有舒适的65个席位。

据报道,哈雷迪政党表示愿意妥协,但利伯曼仍然不屈不挠,这可以解释为什么利库德集团公开谴责以色列贝蒂努领导人,试图迫使他重返谈判桌。到目前为止,利伯曼已经证明可以抵抗压力。

星期六,利伯曼继续攻击,在一篇Facebook帖子中对内塔尼亚胡进行了一次破解:“这不是个人崇拜。权利包括价值观。在民族主义阵营的世界观中,陆军服务始终是最重要的价值。“

如果以色列参加背靠背选举,这将是该国历史上的第一次。

但是,反对派有可能有机会成立政府,甚至是利库德集团的另一个成员。

很明显,由蓝白党领袖班尼甘茨领导的反对派认为应该有机会。 Ynet报道称,一名蓝白军官表示,如果我们不首先有可能首先组建政府,那么它不会支持MK Zohar解散议会的建议。

“该法律规定,如果内塔尼亚胡不能组建政府,我们或利库德集团的另一位议员应该有机会,”该蓝色和白人的第二位高级成员表示。

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