The Jerusalem Post
Netanyahu determined to shame new government
Former prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu told his Likud faction on Thursday that the party’s policy will be to repeatedly vote against its ideology in an effort to bring down the new government and return to power.
Netanyahu met with Religious Zionist Party leader Bezalel Smotrich on Thursday night in an effort to persuade him to adopt the same strategy.
“The coalition has very serious cracks,” Netanyahu told the Likud MKs in Tel Aviv. “We need to take advantage of the cracks in order to get rid of them.”
Netanyahu and Defense Minister Benny Gantz sparred over an ordinance preventing family reunification of Palestinians and Israeli Arabs that Interior Minister Ayelet Shaked intends to bring to a vote in the Knesset next week.
The coalition needs the support of right-wing opposition MKs to pass the ordinance, because it is opposed by Ra’am (United Arab List). But the Likud has responded that it would not help the coalition solve its problems.
Gantz wrote to Netanyahu, asking him to put security above all political considerations.
“This bill is necessary to maintain the security of the state, and Jewish democratic character, so security considerations must be put above politics,” he wrote.
The Likud responded that “those who care about Israeli security should not have formed a government with Ra’am,” and “those who care about Israeli security would quit this government immediately.”
Besides Ra’am, the ordinance is also opposed by Meretz MK Mossi Raz. Raz said additional MKs in Meretz were contemplating voting against it.
Meretz faction chairwoman Michal
Rozin said that if the party was in the opposition, all Meretz MKs would vote against it, but because it is in the coalition, the party must handle the matter sensitively.
“We don’t intend to topple a government or harm the coalition,” Rozin said. “We are working to find a fair solution.”
Shaked is working on a solution together with Ra’am leader Mansour Abbas.
“We are trying to find a compromise to meet the needs of everyone,” Abbas told Army Radio. “We are working on creative solutions.”