Originally published by The Jewish Press
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu brought out the guillotine Tuesday evening and announced he is firing Yair Lapid, the Finance Minister and chairman of Yesh Atid, and Tzipi Livni, the Justice Minster and head of her own party with the banal name of “HaTnuah, which means “movement” in English.
“I will not tolerate this opposition from within, ” said the Prime Minister. He added he will call immediately for new elections.
What will happen to Yesh Atid ministers Shai Peron, Yaakov Peri and Yael German?
Netanyahu did not fire then, but will they remain in office during the interim government while their leaders are dumped?
And will Netanyahu, after all of the cross-the-board denials, bring in the Haredim parties into the coalition to avoid new elections?
Tonight, PM Benjamin Netanyahu spoke to the nation on Tuesday evening to explain his decision to fire Ministers Tzipi Livni and Yair Lapid and call for new elections.
Netanyahu explained that it is impossible to run the country under the current conditions, where ministers inside the government are working to undermine their own government and agreed upon coalition policies and decision. He then gave specific examples of how Lapid and Livni went behind the backs of the coalition, such as when Livni met with Palestinian Authority officials while overseas following the PA’s forming a unity government with Hamas, which was against the government’s decision.
Netanyahu said, “I will not allow for a government where Government Ministers attack the Government from within.”
Netanyahu also blamed the fact that the Likud party did not receive enough mandates, making the government vulnerable to all of Lapid’s and Livni’s actions and games.
Using very strong language, Netanyahu described Livni and Lapid’s activities as a “putsch”.
Netanyahu said Israel needs new elections so he can form a large, unified and stable government.
He compared everything his previous government accomplished, to what this one was incapable of doing, and for good measure added that Lapid failed as Finance Minister.
The bottom line is that this was Netanyahu’s kickoff campaign speech, and his message was that only a large Likud can form a stable government.