Israeli Defense Minister argues against disbanding coalition

Liberman said “elections are the last thing the Jewish people need at this moment” as coalition disagreements over Israel’s Broadcasting Authority continue between Netanyahu and Finance Minister Kahlon. 

Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman argued against disbanding the current coalition and moving to elections in the wake of disagreements over the fate of the Israel Broadcasting Authority between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon, chairman of the Kulanu party.

“There is no reason to break up the current coalition,” Israel’s Channel 2 quoted Liberman at an IDF base in Tel Hashomer. “Anyone with intelligence understands that elections are the last thing the Jewish people need at this moment.”

Kahlon and Netanyahu are sparring over disbanding Israel’s Broadcasting Authority (IBA) and replacing it with the Israel Broadcasting Corporation (IBC). On Saturday, Netanyahu announced his retraction of his decision to move forward with the IBC.

“I changed my mind after a meeting I had yesterday with the employees of the Israel Broadcasting Authority,” Netanyahu wrote on Facebook. “At the meeting I heard heart-rending stories about dedicated and experienced employees who are being sent home because of the IBC.”

In response, Kahlon reportedly started discussions with Opposition head and Chairman of the Zionist Union faction Isaac Herzog about prospectively proposing a vote of no-confidence against the government, which would disband the coalition if passed.

Netanyahu insists the coalition agreement stipulates his Likud party has control over public broadcasting-related issues.

“There is a coalition agreement that clearly states all parties are beholden to the decisions of the Likud on communications issues, including the closing of the company (Israel Broadcasting Authority),” Netanyahu said, before boarding his plane to China early Sunday morning.

Liberman hopes the matter will be solved by the time Netanyahu returns from China.

“I hope that we will reach an agreement to this crisis after the prime minister returns from China,” he said.

By: Jonathan Benedek, World Israel News