Netanyahu reaches deal with ultra-Orthodox allies to avert early elections

Tuesday, 13 Mar, 2018

But progress has been made on a compromise that could lessen the chances of elections for the time being.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu opened up about spending part of his childhood in America during an in-depth interview with LevinTV host Mark Levin on his new Fox News program, "Life, Liberty & Levin".

Opposition politicians and a leading member of the prime minister's coalition have accused Netanyahu, who is polling strongly of seeking snap elections as a way to bolster his standing in the event of a criminal indictment. Mr Netanyahu took much of the fire. "But we are not there".

Right-wing and religious parties in the government are now separated over the framing of a bill that would guarantee the exemption ultra-Orthodox seminary male students have traditionally enjoyed from compulsory military service. He is of the opinion that the IDF alone may decide the rules and parameters of a new draft law based its needs as senior commanders view it. Lieberman rejects permitting rabbonim a say in the draft law, preferring to pasul the combined 13 chareidi seats in Knesset and hundreds of thousands of voters those seats represent.

"It is a fake crisis that can be resolved".

On Monday, the ministerial committee gave approval to the bill. They have threatened retaliation: If the bill does not pass, the parties said they won't vote to approve the country's 2019 budget, which both Netanyahu and Economy Minister Moshe Kahlon, head of the Kulanu party, have identified as a high priority.

"To expect that Yisrael Beytenu will support this legislation is absurd".

"For as long as it has not passed its third (and final) reading, we shall fight from inside". "I mean, the president likes to cut through the - I don't want to call it noise - there are two initials in English, you know?"

Netanyahu separately called on all coalition partners - "first and foremost Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman"- to remain in the government. Netanyahu's coalition government has the support of 66 of the 120 lawmakers in parliament.

Netanyahu on Monday said his government must stay the course.

Israeli police have recommended indicting Mr Netanyahu for bribery, fraud and breach of trust in two separate cases and his close associates have been implicated in another case. In the other, he is suspected of promoting regulation that would benefit an Israeli daily newspaper in exchange for more favorable coverage.

Netanyahu has been prime minister for a total of 12 years, from 1996-1999 and again since 2009.