Amid growing signs of discontent in the current coalition over the controversial “Jewish state” bill, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is reportedly set to decide on whether to call for early elections by Monday.
According to a Channel 2 report, the prime minister recently told close advisers that he was “elected to run the state. And in the current situation, it is impossible to govern.”
The bill, which would enshrine Israel’s character as a Jewish state in Israel’s de facto constitution, has come under harsh criticism from Justice Minister Tzipi Livni and the leader of the Yesh Atid party, Finance Minister Yair Lapid, as well as opposition lawmakers, President Reuven Rivlin, and his predecessor Shimon Peres.
Critics say the law is undemocratic to Israel’s Arab and other minority populations. A stormy cabinet meeting on the bill at the beginning of the week saw Livni accuse Netanyahu of backing the legislation in order to try and pry apart the coalition so that he can call elections.
Netanyahu has vowed to push the measure through, saying that it would guarantee equal rights for the country’s citizens and put Israel’s democratic and Jewish characters on equal footing
On Wednesday, Channel 2 reported that Netanyahu may dissolve the government in the coming weeks if he can garner guarantees from the two ultra-Orthodox parties to support him in a new coalition after elections. The prime minister asked Shas and United Torah Judaism factions to commit to lending support for him to form a new government after elections, the report said. More