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PM Netanyahu: I Cannot Govern With an Opposition from Within

bibnIn his nationally televised address on Tuesday evening the eve of 11 Kislev, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu announced that he felt compelled to fire two cabinet ministers; Justice Minister Tzipi Livni and Finance Minister Yair Lapid. The prime minister explained that back in the summer, during Operation Protective Edge, there were members of his cabinet who acted inappropriately, speaking out publically against the cabinet and some of its decisions.

Mr. Netanyahu added that he spoke out publically and conferred with his minsters privately, telling them this was unacceptable. Since that time he pointed out there were limited instances and he spoke with Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman and Economy Minister Naftali Bennett and they have ceased their public criticism against the government. However, in the case of Lapid and Livni explained the prime minister, their constant criticism reached unacceptable proportions and that is why they and they alone were dismissed. He cited the two speak out against many cabinet decisions, including continued construction in Jerusalem, siding with the international community’s condemnation of Israel.

The prime minister denied any deals were made with Likud and the chareidim, commenting on the irony that Yair Lapid was quick to accuse and speak of back room deal-making when it is confirmed that it was he who tried to get the chareidim on board, the very same chareidim that he is blames for cutting a deal for money to enter the coalition.

There cannot be any doubt. The prime minister launched his election campaign with his televised address, explaining to voters he was never pleased with the coalition but he was left without options as “they” refused to accept the chareidim and he lacked sufficient mandates to build a coalition without them. Mr. Netanyahu added “those who want to see a prime minister from the left-wing wing should vote accordingly but the many seeking a center and right-of-center prime minister must vote to me”. He was not hinting but called on voters not to vote for other right-wing parties, but to give Likud sufficient strength to build a coalition with parties that it can work with and not be compelled to once again form a government with ideologically opposed parties. The prime minister reiterated that his current government simply did not permit him to run national affairs since it had a built-in opposition party that prevented advancing legislation and budgets. He also expressed his disapproval of building a coalition that rejects any sector, as Lapid compelled him to do in this case.

(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)

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