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Orbach to stop voting with coalition until demands met — reports

Jewish Home Director-General Nir Orbach speaks at the party's primary elections in Ramat Gan on February 4, 2019. (Flash90)
Jewish Home Director-General Nir Orbach speaks at the party's primary elections in Ramat Gan on February 4, 2019. (Flash90)

Hebrew media outlets report that Yamina MK Nir Orbach has decided to freeze cooperation with the coalition until further notice.

No source is given for the terse statement, which appears in several Hebrew-language outlets simultaneously, indicating it may have originated in a coordinated leak from Orbach or his aides.

The loss of Orbach would appear to cement the demise of Prime Minister Naftali Bennett’s governing coalition, which would now find itself a minority in the Knesset and continuing to bleed support.

According to Channel 12 news, Orbach has committed to not support the coalition until it passes a bill in support of West Bank settlers that Justice Minister Gideon Sa’ar has called essential.

Such an ultimatum would force lawmakers opposed to settlements to decide between holding their nose and supporting the measure or seeing the coalition go down and new elections called.

At the same time, Orbach’s move may make it less likely for left-leaning lawmakers to go to bat for a dying coalition, possibly torpedoing the law anyway. Some critics have accused some lawmakers on the right of using the issue to bring down the coalition while saving face with right-wing voters.

 

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