Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is reportedly preparing a potential plan aimed at preserving his current coalition in case National Security Minister ends up bolting the government, as he regularly threatens to do.
According to Army Radio, Netanyahu’s associates have contacted various lawmakers in Ben Gvir’s Otzma Yehudit party and asked them about the theoretical option of splitting the far-right party and staying with the coalition if Ben Gvir leaves.
The report says that none of the MKs would agree to that, but adds that Netanyahu’s Likud party is mapping each Otzma Yehudit lawmaker’s priorities and “weak spots” and trying to determined from their initial refusal what it would take for them to agree to a future offer.
Netanyahu currently has a 64-strong coalition in the 120-member Knesset. Ben Gvir’s party has six MKs, which means at least three of them would be needed to keep the coalition’s parliamentary majority.
One is reportedly seen as relatively easy to get — Almog Cohen, who has openly defied Ben Gvir and been punished for it.
Army Radio adds that Netanyahu’s office is also aiming to pull in opposition MKs Gadi Eisenkot and Matan Kahana from the National Unity party to vote with the coalition on some of the judicial overhaul bills. They have thus far refused, but the way in which they refused and other remarks made during these talks reportedly raised Likud’s hopes that everything could be possible if the coalition nears a collapse.
Eisenkot and Kahana insist that they will never support the overhaul legislation “under any conditions.”
Likud says the report is incorrect, and such a plan “never happened and won’t happen.”