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Friday, November 28, 2014

Are we going to new elections?

Channel 2 reports that Prime Minister Netanyahu may ask to dissolve the Knesset this week and go to new elections - just a year and a half after the last elections.
According to the report, Netanyahu is considering three options, but it is believed that his preferred route would be to dissolve the Knesset.
The first option is for Netanyahu to wait until March 31 without the state budget for 2015 passing its second and third reading in the Knesset, which by law requires an election at the end of June.
The second option is to approach President Reuven Rivlin and ask him to dissolve the Knesset. In such a case, 21 days will given for an alternative government to be formed before elections are called, possibly paving the way for Finance Minister Yair Lapid or Opposition leader Yitzhak Herzog forming an alternate government with the hareidim.
The third option is a bill to dissolve the Knesset. According to Channel 2, Netanyahu's associates are attempting to find out whether the other parties in the Knesset would support the dissolution of the Knesset if it is brought to a vote next week. Either way, Netanyahu is expected to decide on the issue within days, the report said.
Netanyahu and the parties in his coalition have been at odds over several issues, the latest being the controversial Jewish State Law, which passed a Cabinet vote this week but which Lapid and Justice Minister Tzipi Livni are opposed to and have threatened to vote against when it comes to a vote in the Knesset.
I don't see Lapid forming an alternative government with the Haredim, and although Herzog could, his party's Knesset delegation is too small to pull it off. Arutz Sheva goes on to report that Netanyahu offered the Haredi parties a deal on Wednesday, but that the Haredi parties are denying it. 

But the Haredi website Kikar Shabbat reported this morning that in fact Netanyahu has offered a deal to the Haredim and is awaiting a response from R. Aaron Yehuda Leib Steinman (link in Hebrew). The deal on offer would have the Haredim agree to recommend that Netanyahu form the next government after the elections in exchange for being assured that they will be part of that government.

In Maariv's Friday edition, columnist Ben Caspit reported that Rav Steinman may veto the idea - recalling that Netanyahu made promises to the Haredim that he did not keep after the last election, and not wanting Haredi 'demands' to become the key issue in the election.

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