Israeli Army Draft Bill Spat Could Spark Early Elections

Israeli Army Draft Bill Spat Could Spark Early Elections

Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman, who leads the Yisrael Beiteinu party in the coalition, was against snap elections and wants ultra-Orthodox Jews to serve in the military like secular Israelis.

The crisis, which could spark early elections, came after ultra-Orthodox parties said they would not support the 2019 state budget unless the draft exemption legislation is approved.

Even if Netanyahu is forced to step down, a new Likud leader would be able to take over and keep a new government coalition, whatever its configuration, in place.

There was some positive news for the embattled Israeli PM as he met with Lieberman and UTJ head Yaakov Litzman Sunday night to discuss a compromise: The Jerusalem Post reported that the most likely outcome was that the bill would be shelved until the summer. "The people of Israel do not need elections, which would go against the electoral interests of Yisrael Beytenu and the personal interests of Avigdor Liberman".

Landver will on Tuesday present her appeal against a decision to allow the Knesset to vote on the controversial bill to the Ministerial Committee for Legislation. The primary will be held March 22.

Israel's defence minister said Monday he would remain in the government for now, leaving Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's coalition intact after intensifying speculation over whether the country is headed for early polls.

He has repeatedly said he wants the coalition to last its entire term, which ends in November 2019, but some members of his coalition suspect him of allowing the crisis to worsen to expedite elections. Kahlon said in response that he would pull his Kulanu party out of the government if the budget isn't passed this week before the Knesset session ends.

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The bill in question is meant to grant a military exemption to Haredi (literally means "in awe of God", often called "ultra-Orthodox" in English but not without controversy) students attending a yeshiva (a traditional Jewish school for the study of the Torah and Talmud).

Trump is demanding "significant changes" to the Iran deal, not just additional agreements between the United States and the European nations, and said he would pull out of the deal if those changes aren't made, Israeli officials told Axios.

Ultra-Orthodox parties that help underpin Netanyahu's government had demanded a vote on the conscription legislation before passing the budget. Netanyahu teased political rivals at a speech in the Knesset plenum following the agreement, referring to the scenario of early elections being called.

Netanyahu, 68, could soon face charges in at least two separate corruption affairs.

Netanyahu has denied any wrongdoing in the cases against him, and has accused the police and media of a conspiracy to oust him.

The other alleges he sought a secret deal with the publisher of a top-selling newspaper for favourable coverage.

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