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Sunday, April 29, 2012

Netanyahu going to early elections?

The heck with Iran. Prime Minister Netanyahu has apparently decided to go to early elections.

As many of you know, one of the parting gifts we got from retiring Supreme Court Chief Justice Dorit Beinish was the court's declaring the Tal Law - the law which legalized the deferral of IDF service by yeshiva students - unconstitutional. The law becomes void on August 1, and everyone has been waiting to see what happens to it.

Over the weekend, Yisrael Beiteinu leader Avigdor Lieberman, who has proposed a bill that purports to 'equalize' army service, said that his party, the second largest in the coalition, is no longer bound by the coalition agreement, because the coalition has not dealt with most of the thorny religion/state issues that the party wants changed. And three opposition parties - Labor, Meretz and Kadima - are all submitting bills to dissolve the Knesset.

Israel Radio has just reported (2:00 am) that Prime Minister has summoned the members of a coalition that is pushing for universal army service to an 'urgent' meeting at 9:00 am - before Sunday's cabinet session. According to members of the coalition, the meeting means that Netanyahu has decided to play ball with them 'even at the risk of new elections.' And a senior member of the ultra-Orthodox Shas party says that the real reason for dissolving the Knesset - which he also thinks will happen - is an attempt to cut the budget.
The Shas member said expected budget cuts are the real reason for dismantling Israel's governing coalition, rather than talk about drafting ultra-Orthodox Israelis into the military.

Members of another coalition faction, United Torah Judaism, are also preparing for early elections. The party's chairman, Knesset Member Yaakov Litzman, said he doesn't know when elections will be held, but added that "we are preparing for every possibility."
Well, maybe. But I suspect that the real reason Prime Minister Netanyahu may have decided on elections is that the polls look quite good for the Likud right now.

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At 9:13 PM, Blogger Sunlight said...

When I saw that elections may happen, my first thought was, "Now that's an innovative thought to get more breathing room to maneuver from the U.S. and other internationals trying to pin Netanyahu down. Good thinking." But obviously, lots of other inside baseball going on...


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