Amid multiple spats, Netanyahu calls on coalition partners to ‘get a grip’

Sam Sokol is the Times of Israel's political correspondent. He was previously a reporter for the Jerusalem Post, Jewish Telegraphic Agency and Haaretz. He is the author of "Putin’s Hybrid War and the Jews"

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in a video message issued June 19, 2024. (Screenshot/GPO)
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in a video message issued June 19, 2024. (Screenshot/GPO)

Following high-profile spats involving members of his coalition, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu calls for his political partners to “get a grip” and abandon “petty politics.”

“We are at war on several fronts, and we face great challenges and difficult decisions,” Netanyahu declares in a video message posted online. “Therefore, I strongly demand that all coalition partners get a grip and rise to the occasion.

“This is not the time for petty politics, this is not the time for legislation that endangers the coalition that is fighting for victory over our enemies,” he continues, even though the premier himself until last night appeared to be aggressively pushing for such a law to be passed for several days.

“We must all focus solely on the tasks before us: defeating Hamas, returning all our hostages and returning our residents safely to their homes, both in the north and in the south. And so I demand from everyone — put aside any other consideration. Put aside any partisan interest. Stand as one, together, behind our troops.”

Netanyahu’s appeal comes after his Likud party engaged in a high-profile spat with Otzma Yehudit leader Itamar Ben Gvir, whom it accused of leaking “state secrets,” and amid intense ultra-Orthodox anger at his decision to drop his backing for the controversial “Rabbis Bill” supported by Shas.

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