As the Knesset returns from hiatus, coalition party chiefs are speaking in faction meetings and expressing their expectations ahead of the winter session, as well as stressing the need to keep the fragile government intact and pass the state budget — a move that must happen by next month or elections are automatically triggered.
Foreign Minister Yair Lapid tells his Yesh Atid faction meeting that the government faces “five weeks in which we have one task: to pass a budget.”
Lapid laments that various parties in the right-center-left-Islamist coalition, which has a wafer-thin Knesset majority, are “each starting to pull toward their way, making unnecessary headlines, behaving as if this government should be taken for granted.
“This government is a fragile miracle that happened against all odds. We all have a responsibility to preserve the coalition and not create unnecessary battles,” he says.
Mansour Abbas, the head of the Islamist Ra’am party, says he expects other coalition parties to honor their promises. However, he clarifies that “we didn’t form a coalition to take it apart, we do want it to continue existing and functioning.”
Meanwhile, Opposition Leader Benjamin Netanyahu says at his Likud faction meeting that his party will be back in power soon.
“Israeli citizens see how bad this government is,” Netanyahu says.
He adds that coalition members “think they’re safe, but we have already been in the opposition with 12 seats (in 2006-2009) and have come back strong. That is what will happen again. It will happen because of their failures. To do that, we will keep our determination and unity.”