Edition 9 at nine for Thursday, May 18, 2023: Blue and White Day

Edition 9 at nine for Thursday, May 18, 2023: Blue and White Day
Edition 9 at nine for Thursday, May 18, 2023: Blue and White Day

The Agudath Israel faction gathers at the home of the Minister of Construction and Housing Rabbi Yitzhak Goldknopf, May 17, 2023

Netanyahu’s sixth government should be on paper the most stable government of his career. A right-wing government with 64 mandates – apparently, complete coalitional and ideological stability.

In practice, not even five months have passed since its establishment and it seems that this coalition is only looking for ways to dismantle itself.

Agudat Israel section

Minister of Construction and Housing Yitzhak Goldknopf, chairman of Agudath Israel, yesterday convened all the leaders of his party at his home for a night discussion on the state budget.

Goldknopf raised a demand – after the Bill of Settlements and the budget were approved by the Finance Committee – for an additional 627 million shekels as a retroactive payment to the educational institutions in ultra-Orthodox society that do not teach core studies.

At the end of the meeting at his home last night, the minister announced: There is no supplement, there is no budget. And if there is no budget, according to law, the government falls.

Predictions: Netanyahu will pay to the last shekel.

Jewish power sector

It seems that the Minister of National Security Itamar Ben Gvir is going out of his way to destabilize the coalition – perhaps the only one in which he will ever receive a ministerial position – and for the second time in a month he has announced that his party will boycott all coalition votes due to what he defines as non-compliance with coalition agreements.

Yesterday, following the boycott that announced the votes in the plenum, the coalition was forced to allow the opposition to pass a bunch of laws with a preliminary reading – to the joy of the Mish Atid Knesset members, who passed laws that never dreamed they would have even a slim chance in this government.

Predictions: Ben Gvir will receive more promises written on the ice on a special day and will celebrate it with a series of tweets on Twitter.

The Likud sector

Justice Minister Yariv Levin, the father of the legal revolution, opposed all along the delay of the legislation on the grounds that this would lead to chaos and, in fact, the halting of all the reform he had planned in the judicial system.

Levin was of course right – and this is exactly what Netanyahu wishes for him: that this reform will disappear and fall off the agenda, so that President Biden will invite him to visit Washington.

Now the differences between the desires of these two partners are starting to take a toll. Levin, according to reports, is threatening to resign if at least some of the coup laws are not passed in the current summer session. Netanyahu, according to the leaks, is absolutely fine with it. “Let him resign, he is not threatening anyone,” he allegedly said.

Predictions: Levin will lose. He is not strong even against a weak Netanyahu.