Chaos in the Knesset: Netanyahu's Coalition on the Verge of Shattering

All of those votes - on a budget for 2019 and legislation to exempt young ultra-Orthodox Jewish men from military conscription - could occur by the end of Tuesday.

President Donald Trump reportedly informed Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that the United States will not be flexible with European powers in negotiating changes to the stipulations and limitations around Iran's nuclear program.

Addressing Israel's lawmakers on Tuesday evening, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that the coalition will continue to carry out its term, just as he had promised when the crisis began.

Yisrael Beytenu, which has opposed maintaining open-ended draft deferments for full-time yeshiva students, threatened Monday to bolt the government if and when the haredi-backed draft bill is passed into law.

She feels that while many are saying "the ball is in Avigdor Lieberman's court", both Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman have the ability to prevent early elections.

The leadership of Yisrael Beiteinu, a secular conservative party, announced that they would vote against the bill that was hashed out by their coalition partners of Likud (Netanyahu's party) and the religious United Torah Judaism (UTJ).

But while the ministerial committee for legislation approved the controversial bill, Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman has not said whether he will accept the compromise.

Speaking to the Times of Israel, a coalition source with direct knowledge of the negotiations said that Netanyahu only agreed to a deal with the other coalition parties once he understood that he would not gain the support of Likud MKs to dissolve the Knesset and call elections.

He certainly is confident that he will remain the head of the government with or without new elections.

"If there are elections, we shall take part and we shall win".

The bill is set to be put to the vote in the Knesset (parliament) plenum later in the day, where it needs three full rounds of votes to become a law.

The prime minister is under investigation in multiple corruption investigations, and facing police recommendations to indict him in at least two cases. A third case has picked up steam in recent weeks.

"I said that the nuclear agreement with Iran contains within it many dangers for the world, including the special danger of the nuclearization of the Middle East", Netanyahu said, according to a statement released on his behalf.

Writing in the left-wing Haaretz newspaper, political commentator Yossi Verter spelled out a possible Netanyahu strategy.

Netanyahu has a chance to break the late David Ben-Gurion's record of 4,575 days in the premier's office: He would need to stay on the job until near the end of September.

(Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.)
 
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