Weekly Election Update: Coalition Conflict Edition

With the past weeks being a lead up to Trumpmania, we could have expected domestic politics to be calm. However there was no shortage of coalition drama as cracks continue to emerge among the partners.

  • Yisrael Beitenu is butting heads with the religious parties in the coalition. The party submitted a bill that would allow each local authority to decide whether to operate public transportation on Shabbat. The move is seen as a response to the ultra-Orthodox parties’ desire to give the Minister of the Interior (currently, Shas’ Aryeh Deri) power to approve local by-laws. This being Yisrael Beitenu, it is also no doubt an attempt to destroy Judaism and the State of Israel as we know it.
  • HaBayit HaYehudi leader Naftali Bennett also clashed with Yisrael Beitenu calling their MKs “little dogs” from the Knesset plenum (he quickly retracted the statement). HaBayit HaYehudi is upset about the decision to close a military boarding school for the religious community in the north, while keeping one for the general community in Haifa open. Before head of YB Avigdor Lieberman became Defense Minister, a decision was made to close both schools. After Lieberman gained the position, the director of the Defense Ministry studied the closures and suggested to keep the one for the general population open. And that, my friends, is why Yisrael Beitenu MKs are little dogs.
  • Minister of Justice Ayelet Shaked (HaBayit HaYehudi) insisted that the Likud would not quiet her party on issues of the conflict. The Likud has expressed its feeling that the BY has been irresponsible regarding statements and demands made regarding how diplomacy should be conducted with the United States.
  • Finally, BY also found itself in a bit of trouble when the State Comptroller revealed that money controlled by the Housing Minister Uri Ariel and meant for towns in the periphery ended up going to religious groups. 65% of the money went to groups working in the center of the country.

Totally precise and not arbitrary election date: February 20, 2018 (Here’s a fun scenario that could push off elections. Trump makes a proposal for negotiations, Bibi accepts, Bennett pulls out of the coalition and Labor and/or Yesh Atid joins. Labor would join because they have no interest in elections while they are so weak, Yesh Atid would join to appear as leaders.)

 

Winner: Likud

Runner Up: Yesh Atid

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