Israeli opposition party rejects offer to join alternative coalition

The Yesh Atid party ruled out the possibility of joining an alternative coalition in the Knesset that would replace the Likud government. 

A political party currently sitting in the Knesset’s opposition has reportedly rejected the suggestion that it join an alternative coalition led by the opposition’s biggest faction, the Zionist Union.

“In democracies, replacing the leadership is done only through elections,” Yesh Atid stated. “We won’t lend a hand to tricks and backroom deals.”

Yesh Atid made its statement against the backdrop of reports that Kulanu, a party in the coalition, had discussed joining a new coalition to be led by the Zionist Union. Kulanu chairman Moshe Kahlon, who also serves as finance minister, had protested Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s decision to retract from an earlier commitment to replace the Israel Broadcasting Authority with a new Israel Broadcasting Corporation and threatened to leave the government, which would force new elections.

Speaking from Vietnam during an official visit, Israeli President Reuven Rivlin spoke out against making the current disagreement between Netanyahu and Kahlon a “make-or-break” issue that could lead to new elections.

“To say there would be a cabinet crisis over public broadcasting?” asked Rivlin rhetorically. “Anyone who says that this political issue is make-or-break is abusing the public broadcaster.”

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Israeli media reported on an attempt to reach some sort of compromise during a meeting on Sunday night between Tourism Minister Yariv Levin, a member of Netanyahu’s Likud party, and Finance Ministry Director Shai Babad, as well as in a meeting on Monday between Kahlon’s chief of staff, Nadav Sheinberger, and Coalition Chairman David Bitan.

By: Jonathan Benedek, World Israel News