Israeli Army Draft Bill Spat Could Spark Early Elections

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The latest crisis revolves around supporting legislation exempting ultra-Orthodox youth from serving in the military and the passage of 2019 state budget. The government believes it has enough votes to pass the legislation even without Liberman and his party, except that several of Kulanu's 10 lawmakers have said they would not vote for the bill if Liberman does not support it.

Based on that compromise, parliament could give final approval to the budget and preliminary approval to the conscription bill as early as Tuesday night.

Lieberman, Yisrael Beteinu's leader, said that all five MKs [Members of the Knesset] from his party would vote against the revised bill.

On the same day as Trump and Netanyahu met, Vice President Mike PenceMichael (Mike) Richard PenceNorth Korea canceled secret meeting with Pence at Olympics Judicial order in Flynn case prompts new round of scrutiny The CIA may need to call White House to clarify Russian Federation meddling MORE said at the American Israel Public Affairs Committee conference that if the deal is not fixed in the coming months, the USA plans to withdraw "immediately".


"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.

MK Oded Forer told Israel Radio: "We will oppose the conscription law".

Secularist right-wing parties want the exemption lifted or at least the language changed.

Lieberman slammed the bill.


Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon said he would resign if the budget did not pass in the Knesset's winter session, which ends on Sunday.

Earlier Tuesday, Transportation Minister Israel Katz (Likud) told Army Radio, "Likud and the prime minister aren't interested in elections but also aren't anxious about them".

"We face with great challenges and we all know what they are, as well as great opportunities". I think of America's defense of freedom in the world and its alliance with Israel and support for Israel. Rival parties have threatened to bolt the coalition over the issue, raising the possibility of early elections. "Therefore, it is important to continue the partnership between us with a broad government as only it can continue to serve the citizens of Israel", he added.

Although Lieberman has enjoyed a healthy working relationship with Netanyahu and his similarly conservative Likud party, a schism has persistently existed in the coalition between secular parties like Yisrael Beiteinu and orthodox parties like The Jewish Home, Shas and UTJ.


Some analysts say Netanyahu favors early elections as a diversion to potential indictment on alleged corruption charges.

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