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Israel’s coalition crisis: Ra’am rebellion threatens state budget

CM 19/10/2021

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Prime Minister Naftali Bennett‘s governing coalition faced a new threat on Tuesday from the Ra’am (United Arab List) Party. 
Ra’am MK Walid Taha, who chairs the Knesset Interior Committee, canceled all its meetings for this week, which was set to legislate part of the economic arrangements bill that accompanies the state budget. He said he would not convene the committee because the coalition is not advancing a bill that would enable Arab and Bedouin homes built illegally to be connected to electricity.
“Part of the coalition is making it difficult to advance the electricity bill, which would enable hooking up to electricity tens of thousands of homes built without permits because local authorities did not bother with proper planning for decades,” Taha said. 
The budget and the arrangements bill must be passed into law by November 14 to prevent the government from falling and initiating early elections. 
Taha also said he would not vote with the coalition in the Knesset plenum.

 An empty Knesset plenum on October 4, 2021. (credit: NOAM MOSKOVICH) An empty Knesset plenum on October 4, 2021. (credit: NOAM MOSKOVICH)

In another fight within the coalition, Interior Minister Ayelet Shaked (Yamina) lashed out at Foreign Minister Yair Lapid (Yesh Atid) for his criticism of the Right in his speech to the Knesset in a ceremony marking the Jewish calendar anniversary of the assassination of then-prime minister Yitzhak Rabin in 1995.
“Tainting a large sector of voters as opponents and assassins of democracy is horribly wrong and made me cringe,” Shaked wrote on Facebook. “These ideological and determined people have values, and they are forced every year to endure these insults and mudslinging. This does not maintain our democracy. It shames it.”
Bennett urged his ministers on Sunday to keep their disputes internal and avoid “rocking the boat” until the state budget passes into law.
In an effort to take advantage of the problems in the coalition, opposition leader Benjamin Netanyahu ordered his Likud MKs to work hard over the next few weeks and not take any trips abroad on the days the Knesset meets.
“If you want to go abroad, you can go to Cyprus for the weekend,” he suggested in a recording of the closed door Likud faction meeting Monday night that was revealed by Army Radio political correspondent Yanir Cozin. 
Netanyahu apologized for missing a key vote on the medical cannabis bill. He revealed that the Likud and other opposition parties would stop boycotting Knesset committees after the state budget passes. Shas and United Torah Judaism MKs already want to end the boycott now. 

Source: Jerusalem Post

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