Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu urged his coalition partners not to pull out of the government over a contested bill exempting Jewish ultra-Orthodox students from military service. Early elections would have shifted attention away from his legal problems, and a win would have shored up his position ahead of a possible indictment.
Meanwhile, new polls released Monday showed that if elections were held today, Likud would remain in power with the same amount of seats, the centrist Yesh Atid would come in second and main opposition party the Zionist Union would lose around half its seats. Perhaps it's because of a secret deal he has made with Netanyahu.
An indictment likely would cause the fall of the current government, while new elections could bring about more favorable numbers for Netanyahu and a potential new coalition.
"That was scary, wasn't it?"
Netanyahu however says that he does not want to do so, calling it unsustainable. "I know that I saved you from massive disappointment, because had there been elections I'd be back here [at the lectern] and you'd continue to offer commentary [from the back benches]".
Watching Netanyahu address the Knesset the other day I found it impossible not to be impressed by his stamina and his arguments why he's the best possible prime minister of Israel and his coalition a reflection of it.
Netanyahu has repeatedly said he wants the coalition to last its entire term, which ends in November next year.
"He was pulling the whole party along with him down the road to elections". If no consensus is reached by that date, Trump is expected to withdraw the US from the deal.
He directed his remark mainly at Avigdor Lieberman, the defense minister and leader of the Yisrael Beitenu faction, which objects the exemptions.
Liberman then has four weeks following the Passover break to submit a state bill regarding the military draft for hareidi-religious recruits, which is to be approved by the Committee and then passed in its first reading by the Knesset plenum, after which another piece of legislation - proposed by a Shas lawmaker - will be tacked on to it.
"There is no more interesting post than the post of defence minister".
Amsalem declined a Times of Israel request to comment on the alleged threat by Likud MKs and the reason for the postponement of the committee. "I am not saying there couldn't be one in the future, but right now there is none", Netanyahu said, two officials at the meeting told Axios.
The ultra-Orthodox parties, which possess 13 of the government's 66 seats in the 120-seat parliament, threaten to leave the coalition if a law granting ultra-Orthodox men exemption from conscription fails to pass.