A coalition is still in the offing, and in the meantime Knesset members from Shas and Yesh Atid are finding the time to bicker online.
The drama began when Knesset member Dr. Ruth Calderon, number 13 on the Yesh Atid list, noted the exit of Arab members from the Knesset hall when the anthem was played. “It saddens me that Arab members left the hall before the playing of the anthem. Does anyone know of efforts to correct the words of the anthem so that all citizens of the country would be included?”she wrote on her Facebook wall.
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This elicited sharp response from Shas frontman Eli Yishai. “I was astonished to learn that there was the idea to delete the word ‘Jew’ from the anthem.
"Yes, we have some disagreements with Yesh Atid but there are some issues I thought were not in dispute, like the Jewish character of the State of Israel. I want to inform those who are not aware – Israel is a Jewish state! I doubt if Yesh Atid's voters intended for their party to try to change the state's identity."
These squabbles follow meetings Sunday afternoon between members of Avigdor Lieberman’s faction with the heads of the program for the establishment of a new form of government. “Lapid is an acceptable partner for government, as long as he understands that he is a senior partner in a coalition and not the acting prime minister,” Leiberman said.
He added that a change in the form of government is not a condition for joining the coalition and noted that Yesh Atid supports these changes, but that Lapid must still understand his place.
Lieberman said that a change in the form of government is critical to Yisrael Beiteinu. “There is an opportunity for history to bring this subject into the foundation of Israel, and to obligate the Knesset and the new government to further the subject during the Knesset’s first session.
“Public backing is important, and I am willing to be flexible in order to move this change forward,” he added. Lieberman was referring to the establishment of a governing presidential office, a subject which he had raised in the past.
Participating in the meeting were heads of governance organizations. Professor Uriel Reichman, chair of A Constitution for Israel said of the proposal, “The prime minister will get additional powers. He will be able to appoint ministers without approval of the Knesset. He will have limited veto power."
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