In a decisive move after days of intense political bickering, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel fired his centrist finance and justice ministers on Tuesday and called for the dissolution of Parliament and early elections.
Mr. Netanyahu excoriated Yair Lapid, the finance minister, and Tzipi Livni, the justice minister, for attacking his government and its policies from within in recent weeks, declaring in a statement, “I will no longer tolerate opposition from within the government.”
Israel’s march toward early elections set out last week with a political row over a nationality bill. This week it morphed into a clash over proposed housing changes and the state budget.
But Israeli political analysts said the move toward new elections, 20 months after the current coalition was sworn in, was not about nationality or reduced-cost housing or any other issue of ideology or principle.
Instead, they said, Mr. Netanyahu had simply had enough of his fractious coalition partners and wanted a more manageable government made up of rightist allies and the ultra-Orthodox parties he has long considered his natural partners.
I mean it's a parliamentary system, so Bibi can do this, but the catch is he then faces elections and could be deposed if he doesn't win enough seats. Of course, the prevailing mood is that Bibi's far-right Likud Party and its even more right-wing allies will gain seats at the expense of Livni and Lapid's more moderate factions, and that's a bad thing.
Lapid was canned because, now get this, he thinks the US is okay and that Netanyahu has been "condescending" to President Obama. Speaks worlds of Bibi to fire the guy for doing that.
We'll see where things end up after elections in March.