The PM's move may prompt tension vis-à-vis his senior coalition partner, Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman. Senior Yisrael Beiteinu officials slammed Netanyahu's statement later Thursday
"We won't forgive Bibi for this slap in the face," one senior party official said. "The Likud shall pay for it in the next elections." Party members said that while no major coalition crisis is expected, Yisrael Beiteinu will "punish" the Likud at Knesset votes over the PM's move.
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Speaking at a ceremony honoring Jewish communities in the former Soviet Union headed by Lev Leviev, Netanyahu said he will take a stand against Yisrael Beiteinu's initiative.
"We don't need probes at the Knesset; we don't need commissions of inquiry," the PM said. "Yet some people don't agree, which is why I shall grant them the freedom to vote as they see fit."
The prime minister added that as opposed to the Boycott Law vote, where he was absent, this time he will vote against the proposed legislation.
The initiative calls for the establishment of a five-member committee that would look into the funding of leftist groups and the way they purchase land. Lieberman said Wednesday he expects the government to support the proposal. The foreign minister said that he will not induce a coalition crisis in case no such support is granted, but added that he would view the move as a blow to his faction.
'Lighthouse of democracy'During Thursday's event, Netanyahu also expressed his opposition to an initiative exposed by Ynet, a proposal that would enable the Knesset's Constitution Committee to veto the appointment of top judges.
"Democracy has firm pillars," the prime minister said. "One of them is the courts, and I shall protect the courts. This is vital. I would not disparage or harm this institution, which is essential for us all."
Addressing the Boycott Law, Netanyahu said: "I'm against boycotts. I'm against the notion of boycotting one sector of the public or another. We're a democracy lighthouse in the great darkness around us – there are no laws there, no legislators, and no judges. There's nothing out there. Around here, it's different."
Attila Somfalvi contributed to the article
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