Israeli Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu and Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman discussed today potential solutions for the crisis in the coalition over the state budget. Meanwhile, senior officials in Yesh Atid said that the two parties will soon reach a compromise on a variety of topics and formulate understandings to bridge their disagreements.
As tensions within the fractured government reached new levels throughout the course of the day, party leaders rushed to declare their reluctance to take the country to new elections, cautioning that this was the only alternative to the current coalition.
The head of Yisrael Beiteinu, Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, warned Monday that should the coalition break apart, Israel would go to elections.
But he also noted that he did not foresee “any dramatic change happening even after the elections. Perhaps the dramatic change would be if the three nationalist parties – Yisrael Beiteinu, Bayit Yehudi and Likud – together get 60 (Knesset) seats.”
While this was unlikely, Lieberman said he hoped both the current coalition and Netanyahu “know how to get along and find the necessary compromise or right tones (of discourse).”
The foreign minister said the current “escalation of statements was not helping,” noting he believed Yisrael Beiteinu was “the only party that did not present ultimatums. We’re not threatening and we try not to fight with anyone.”
Meanwhile, Justice Minister Tzipi Livni, the head of Hatnua, on Monday slammed proposed legislation on defining Israel as the Jewish nation-state, which she has delayed, expressing concerns about its anti-democratic nature.
Explaining her decision to postpone the vote on the proposed Basic Law in the Ministerial Committee on Legislation, Livni called the bill unnecessary, claiming that Israel’s Declaration of Independence “has already determined that Israel is the nation-state of the Jewish people, while all its citizens are equal.”
Her primary concern, she said, was that “I object and we will all object to (Israel as) a democratic state that is not Jewish, or a Jewish state that is not democratic.”
Predictions also surfaced of a possible meeting between Netanyahu and representatives of the charedi parties, to examine the possibility of forming an alternative government.
MK Moshe Gafni of United Torah Judaism was quick to explain, however, that he and his colleagues had no intention of acting as the prime minister’s lifejacket.
“If we join the government, we’d save Lapid and he’d rise in the polls. Up to now, he’s been a total failure,” Gafni said.
The charedi parties, usually a fixture in Israeli coalitions, have been left out in the cold by Netanyahu during the formulation of the last government in early 2013.
Read a full report at Ynet.