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In minor breakthrough, rebel coalition MK meets minister to discuss transportation reforms

Carrie Keller-Lynn is a political and legal correspondent for The Times of Israel

MK Michael Biton attends his Blue and White party's faction meeting at the Knesset, May 30, 2022. (Olivier Fitoussi/ Flash90)
MK Michael Biton attends his Blue and White party's faction meeting at the Knesset, May 30, 2022. (Olivier Fitoussi/ Flash90)

New headway is being made toward resolving one of the rebellions by coalition lawmakers that have put the government on the brink of collapse.

Transportation Minister Merav Michaeli and Blue and White MK Michael Biton are meeting for the first time in weeks, according to Biton’s spokesman.

Biton, who heads the Knesset’s Economic Affairs Committee, has been boycotting most coalition votes in protest over transportation reforms pushed by Michaeli that skirted his committee’s oversight.

Biton says his objections are rooted in both procedure and substance. In addition to sidelining his committee, he says the reforms — which unify public transportation prices across Israel — include price hikes that hurt poor and geographically dispersed communities.

Biton is possibly the coalition’s least troublesome headache. Although he has temporarily stopped voting with the coalition, he is not ideologically conflicted about the government and has established conditions for his return — namely, progress on the transportation reform issue.

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