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March 16, 2017 9:33 am

Israeli Interior Minister Threatens Netanyahu With Early Elections Over Broadcasting Authority Feud

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Israeli Interior Minister Aryeh Deri. Photo: Tomer Neuberg/FLASH90.

Israeli Interior Minister Aryeh Deri. Photo: Tomer Neuberg/FLASH90.

JNS.org – Israeli Interior Minister Aryeh Deri has threatened Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu with the prospect of early elections, following a feud between Netanyahu and Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon over the fate of Israel’s state broadcaster.

The Israel Broadcasting Authority (IBA) is slated to be replaced by the new Israel Public Broadcasting Corporation, and Netanyahu had requested that Kahlon delay the closure of the outgoing IBA for six months.

During a raucous cabinet meeting, the request drew ire from Kahlon, who became suspicious of the prime minister’s intentions, declaring, “You aren’t really interested in public broadcasting, but rather control. You need to understand, I left the Likud and you won’t be doing things like this to me. When things become difficult, you disappear. When there are achievements, you appear.”

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The dispute between Netanyahu and Kahlon — leaders of the Likud and Kulanu political parties, respectively — became more visible Thursday, when Kahlon said at a conference in Tel Aviv, “How is it said these days? Kahlon and Netanyahu are no more.”

Regarding the internal dispute, Deri said, “I do not intend on staying in a malfunctioning government which lives on mistakes and on ‘destroying one another.’ If everyone doesn’t come to their senses, it is better to hold elections.”

Deri, one of the founders of the Shas party, added that he sees the internal feud “getting worse,” in yet another blow to the stability of Netanyahu’s already fragile governing coalition.

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