In Last Ditch Effort to Avoid Coalition Collapse, Netanyahu to Meet With Finance Minister
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will meet with his Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon on Sunday in a last ditch effort to save his government.
Netanyahu’s current coalition was shattered last week when Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman resigned in protest over what he described as Israel’s capitulation to Hamas terrorism after Netanyahu accepted a ceasefire following hundreds of rockets fired at Israel’s south.
Soon after, the Jewish Home party announced that it would leave the coalition if its leader Naftali Bennett were not appointed Lieberman’s successor. Netanyahu met with Bennett on Friday and reportedly told Bennett he would not do so.
In response, both Kahlon of the Kulanu party and Interior Minister Aryeh Deri of the Shas party called for immediate elections.
On Saturday, Netanyahu tweeted that he will meet with Kahlon on Sunday in an effort to save his government, Israel’s Channel 2 reported, though it is all but impossible for him to do so without Jewish Home.
“Tomorrow I will meet with Moshe Kahlon in a crucial meeting,” Netanyahu wrote, “in an attempt to convince him not to topple the government. If the Kulanu faction does not topple the government — there is a government. It is forbidden to topple a right-wing government. All members of the Likud faction are interested in serving the country for another year, until the end of the term in November 2019.”
Netanyahu related a possible government collapse to the Oslo Accords, which were signed after a left-wing coalition replaced a right-wing government that was felled by internal divisions.
“It is important to make every effort in order to save a right-wing government and not to repeat the historic mistake of ’92, when a right-wing government was toppled, the left rose to power and brought the Oslo disaster upon the State of Israel,” Netanyahu said.
A recent poll showed that Netanyahu would win the next elections, though support for his Likud party would fall. The poll also showed that 74 percent of Israelis disapprove of his handling of the recent escalation with Hamas.