Change Region:Northern Ireland

Netanyahu’s Governing Coalition On Shaky Ground

ICEJ News Briefs

Printer-friendly versionSend by email
Posted on: 
15 Nov 2018 (All day)
Netanyahu’s Governing Coalition On Shaky Ground
Wednesday’s announcement by Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman that he is resigning over the government’s agreeing to a cease-fire with the Islamist terror militia Hamas, which he characterized as “a capitulation to terrorism” has increased speculation that the country could soon be holding parliamentary elections. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu held urgent talks with the leaders of other factions within his governing coalition throughout Thursday in an effort to hold the government together, he was told by even some of his closest political allies that early elections are necessary and unavoidable.

“In the current situation, the right thing for the citizens of Israel and the Israeli economy is to go to an election as soon as possible,” Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon said during his meeting with Netanyahu.

“A government without deterrence is not a right- wing government. Without taking responsibility for the national mission of changing the security situation, there is no reason for the government to exist,” a statement from the Bayit Yehudi faction led by Education Minister Naftali Bennet said, adding that only if Bennet is appointed to replace Lieberman as Defense Minister will they stay in the coalition.

Following the departure of Lieberman’s Yisrael Beytenu faction, the governing coalition is left with only 61 seats, a razor-thin one vote majority in the 120 member Knesset.

Netanyahu appeared to push back against the argument that he’d accepted Hamas’ cease-fire offer despite widespread demands for a more forceful response at a public event Wednesday evening at Moshav Sde Boker in the Negev meant to honor the memory of Israel’s first Prime Minister, David ben Gurion, who spent his retirement at the Moshav and is buried there alongside his wife Paula. “In times of trial, Ben-Gurion made fateful decisions. Sometimes he did so contrary to popular opinion, but over time, these decisions turned out to be correct,” he said. “In routine times, a leader has to be attentive to the feelings of the people, and we are a wise nation. But in times of crisis, at a time of fateful decisions regarding security, the public at times cannot be a partner to decisive considerations that must be hidden from the enemy.”

For their part, Hamas and other Palestinian terror groups who participated in the barrage of rockets against Israel earlier this week held street parties on Wednesday to celebrate what they characterized as a great victory against Israel, citing the resignation of Lieberman as evidence of the effect their attacks had had.

Rivlin at the Vatican
Israeli President Reuven Rivlin was the guest of Pope Francis in the Apostolic Palace in Vatican City on Thursday morning, along with his wife Nechama. Rivlin is in Italy for meetings with various government officials and will meet with Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte on Friday morning before returning to Israel.

Tel Aviv University Forms Partnership with Northwestern
The movement to Boycott, Divest and Sanction (BDS) Israel suffered another defeat on Wednesday when Tel Aviv University and Illinois-based Northwestern University announced a joint project to develop the budding field of nanoscience. The joint research and development projects, privately funded by philanthropist Roman Abramovich, covers student exchange programs and grants for individual and shared research at both universities.

“The new agreement enables us to significantly broaden and strengthen our collaboration with Northwestern University, one of the world’s leading institutions in the field of nanotechnology,” said Prof. Yael Hanein, Head of Tel Aviv University’s Center for Nanoscience and Nanotechnology. “I have no doubt that strengthened cooperation between two leading research institutions will advance the development of life-changing and life-saving technologies for the benefit of humanity.”

Here is a video about other ways Israeli research is helping improve the quality of life for everyone on this planet

Terrorist Attack in Jerusalem Leave Four Officers Wounded
Four Israeli police officers were wounded in a stabbing attack Wednesday evening in Jerusalem’s Armon HaNatziv neighborhood. A terrorist climbed the fence in front of the Oz Police Station, slashing at an officer near the entrance and wouding his other victims in the ensuing scuffle. He was shot and seriously wounded by other officers and taken to Shaarei Tzedek Hospital where he was listed in stable condition Thursday morning.

Today's video gives some analysis of Israel’s growing relationships with Arab countries