Key coalition partner says Netanyahu’s coalition crisis is ‘fabricated’

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By Middle East Affairs

Israeli Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked has referred to the political crisis that would lead to early elections as “fabricated,” Haaretz reports.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who faces possible indictment charges, insists he is not seeking early elections. He claims he wants his party to finish its term before official elections in November 2019. However, an early election would save his seat if he is later charged for corruption and bribery.

A dispute over a draft bill that would allow ultra-Orthodox young Jewish men to opt out of serving the compulsory military draft has left right-wing secularists threatening to disband the coalition and drop out of the government. That move would force early elections.

Netanyahu publicly calls for the coalition to remain in tact, but he agreed upon the draft bill with the ultra-Orthodox party, signaling a possible hope that the coalition actually will disband.

Shaked, Haaretz reports, “warned Netanyahu that toppling the right-wing government would be a ‘historic mistake.'”

Shaked wrote in a tweet Tuesday: “This is a fabricated crisis. Prime minister, to topple a right-wing government over nothing would be a historic mistake of dimensions similar to the fall of the Shamir government in 1992.”

According to the news agency, Netanyahu said Monday that he’s making a “last-ditch effort” to avoid early elections, yet he did not hold a meeting that night with Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman, who has voiced his commitment to voting against the bill.

 

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