Coalition in Crisis, as No Agenda Set for Sunday’s Cabinet Meeting

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Alternate Prime Minister Benny Gantz at the weekly cabinet meeting, July 5. (Amit Shabi/POOL)

Coalition ties between the Likud and Blue and White appear to be worsening, with Blue and White holding the Likud to another stipulation in the coalition agreement that the Likud hasn’t implemented yet. On Thursday night, Kan 11 News reported that no agenda had been set for the weekly cabinet meeting on Sunday.

The current distribution of ministerial portfolios gives the Likud-right wing bloc three more votes in the cabinet than the Blue and White-Labor bloc has. But the coalition agreement states that cabinet positions were supposed to have been divided equally between the two blocs. That requirement will have to be upheld from the moment that the rules and regulations for the cabinet are approved, but a vote to ratify them has not been held.

Blue and White wants the cabinet rules approved prior to a vote on the state budget, hoping to go into the budget vote on an equal footing, but the Likud is refusing.

The main concern for Blue and White is that the Likud is deliberately avoiding a vote on the cabinet regulations in order to pass a disputed budget, without support from Blue and White, if necessary.

Likud representatives said Thursday that Sunday’s cabinet meeting had not been cancelled, but confirmed that there was as yet no agenda for it. Blue and White representatives said that there was a true crisis, and that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu “wants to dissolve the government.”

Blue and White’s patience for delaying the vote on a change to the cabinet rules has run out, and the party is demanding that the matter be discussed on Sunday.

Speaking to Yisrael Hayom, Blue and White officials said that “the government was formed two and a half months ago, and for weeks, the issue of the cabinet regulations have been pushed from the agenda.”

However, sources in Blue and White said the party did not think that the Likud was trying any dirty tricks.

“We believe the matter will be solved, and want to make it clear that every subject having to do with addressing coronavirus will, of course, be at the top of the agenda,” Blue and White said.