Key Coalition Partner Warns Netanyahu: Toppling Right-wing Government Would Be ‘Historic Mistake’

Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked, a key partner in Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s ruling coalition, called the current political crisis "fabricated" and warned Netanyahu that toppling the right-wing government would be a "historic mistake."

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The head of Shaked’s Habayit Hayehudi party, Education Minister Naftali Bennett, is spearheading efforts to dissuade Netanyahu from calling elections for June 26.

In a tweet Tuesday morning, Shaked wrote: "This is a fabricated crisis. Prime minister, to topple a right-wing government over nothing would be a historic mistake of dimensions similar to the fall of the Shamir government in 1992."

>> To Bibi or not to Bibi: Does Netanyahu want early elections? | Analysis >>

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On Monday, Netanyahu began efforts to secure the 61 votes needed to dissolve the Knesset and go to early elections. The move faces strong opposition from within and outside his coalition government. 

New legislation regarding enlisting Israel’s ultra-Orthodox into the army lies at the center of a conflict between the Haredi parties and Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman’s Yisrael Beiteinu party, which vehemently opposes the bill in its current form. 

Both sides have threatened to disband the coalition if their demands regarding the bill are not met, which would prompt a snap election. Israel’s next election is currently scheduled for November 2019.

Shaked’s tweet Wednesday echoed Lieberman’s remark at a meeting of his party’s lawmakers on Monday afternoon. “This is a classic fake law, theater of the absurd,” Lieberman said, referring to the coalition crisis.