Justice minister: Dissolving government would be ‘historic mistake’

“Prime Minister, to topple a right-wing government over nothing would be a historic mistake,” Justice Minister Shaked stated.

By: World Israel News Staff

Amid speculation as to whether the Knesset coalition will collapse, Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked warned Tuesday that bringing down the current right-wing government would be a “historic mistake.”

The threat to the coalition comes mainly from the quarrel between the secular Yisrael Beiteinu party and the ultra-Orthodox Shas and United Torah Judaism (UTJ) concerning military draft legislation. UTJ and Shas said they will not vote for the 2019 budget without draft exemptions for ultra-Orthodox yeshiva (Talmudic seminary) students, while Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman, head of the Yisrael Beiteinu party, a key secular partner, has vowed to bolt the coalition if the budget does not pass within the next few weeks.

On Monday, it appeared that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had come to a temporary solution, satisfying the haredi (ultra-Orthodox) parties by agreeing to extend the IDF draft exemptions. Yisrael Beiteinu said it will vote against the proposed solution, but Netanyahu would still have the required 61 votes to pass the bill.

However, the prime minister has said that he would not be satisfied with such a slim majority.

Calling the situation an “imaginary crisis,” Shaked called on Netanyahu not to call for early elections. “Prime Minister, to topple a right-wing government over nothing would be a historic mistake similar in size to the fall of the Shamir government in 1992,” she tweeted, referring to the collapse of the coalition, led by Likud’s Yitzhak Shamir, and the election that resulted in victory for Labor’s Yitzhak Rabin.

“It’s really frustrating. To dismantle the government is a mistake that later everyone will regret, I hope that the prime minister or the defense minister will come to their senses. It’s in their hands,” she told the haredi radio station Kol Barama Tuesday, Arutz-7 reported.

Concerning Yisrael Beitenu Minister Sofa Landver’s threat to vote against the Draft Law in the cabinet, which in essence means leaving the coalition, Shaked said, “There are two options. Either the defense minister tells Sofa Landver to abstain in the vote on the Draft Law, or the prime minister decides not to fire Sofa Landver, even if she votes against it. That, indeed, is very unusual, but is possible if weighed against the dissolution of the government.”