Tourism Minister Yariv Levin from Likud and Oded Forer of Yisrael Beytenu, both heading their respective parties’ negotiation teams, met at Kfar Maccabiah in Ramat Gan for several hours.
The sides failed to come to any agreement and said they would meet again at a later date.
The most thorny issue is expected to be legislation regulating — and limiting — exemptions to military conscription for ultra-Orthodox students, which the secularist Liberman is insisting should be passed without amendment, while ultra-Orthodox parties have said they will not join the coalition if it is advanced without changes. Both Yisrael Beytenu and the ultra-Orthodox are essential for Netanyahu if he is to assemble a governing coalition with a majority of at least 61 seats in the 120-member Knesset.
Liberman has backed Netanyahu as the next premier, cementing the right-wing coalition at 65 seats. But his party holds five of those seats, just enough to bring Netanyahu to the brink of collapse if he leaves the coalition — as he did in November in a spat over what he said were disagreements with the prime minister’s Gaza policy, shrinking Netanyahu’s coalition at the time to just 61 seats.
Liberman on Saturday reiterated that his party would not join a coalition led by Netanyahu unless his demands are met on security, immigration, and religion and state issues, in a government likely to be dominated by the religious right.
Liberman, whose base of supporters is largely made up of secular immigrants from the former Soviet Union, campaigned on opposing “religious coercion,” and supports public transportation and allowing mini-markets to remain open on Shabbat, in addition to ending the Chief Rabbinate’s control over marriage and divorce, and passing the enlistment bill.https://www.timesofisrael.com/yisrael-b ... -kick-off/
The right wing coalition could be in a little trouble. My party, Yisrael Beieinu, has demands that are unacceptable to the religious parties.