Mon. Jul 22nd, 2024

Cancellation of Israeli delegation's visit to US exacerbates divisions in Netanyahu's cabinet

Natasha Kumar By Natasha Kumar Mar27,2024

The cancellation of the visit of the Israeli delegation to the United States has exacerbated differences in the Netanyahu cabinet

Photo: Benjamin Netanyahu and Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu faces growing tensions in his governing coalition after differences with Washington escalated over draft proposals Israeli army of ultra-Orthodox Jews.

Israeli media reported that a cabinet meeting to discuss planned changes to the conscription law was cancelled. However, there are only a few days left before the Israeli government will have to submit its proposals on this issue to the Supreme Court. A Netanyahu aide said the cabinet meeting had not yet been scheduled, Reuters reported.

The delay came a day after the United States failed to veto a UN Security Council resolution calling for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza, which displeased Netanyahu.

Amid growing international pressure for a cessation of hostilities and for Israel to abandon plans to launch a ground offensive on the southern Gaza city of Rafah, Israel's prime minister has canceled a planned visit to Washington by two of his top aides.

The cancellation of the visit of the Israeli delegation to the United States has exacerbated differences in the Netanyahu cabinet

Benny Gantz

During the planned trip, they were to listen to American proposals regarding alternative courses of action.

The decision to cancel the trip was welcomed by representatives of the religious wing of the Israeli ruling coalition. But Benny Gantz, a centrist politician who previously served as defense minister and joined the country's military cabinet last year, said the delegation should have gone to Washington.

Israel Hayom, a conservative newspaper that typically supports Netanyahu, said supported the cancellation of the trip, saying at the same time that today Israel needs the public support of President Joe Biden more than ever.

Netanyahu's position remains dependent on whether he can maintain a coalition with far-right religious-nationalist parties that are strongly opposed to any weakening of the reduction in the intensity of hostilities and any concessions to international demands for a political solution to the conflict.

An obstacle to this path may be the country's existing conscription law, which potentially allows the elimination of exceptions that allow ultra-Orthodox Jews not to serve in the army.

Different attitudes to this problem – One of the long-standing points of disagreement between secular and religious Israelis.

At the same time, Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant and his supporters are pushing for expansion of conscription laws. On the contrary, the ultra-Orthodox parties included in the ruling coalition insist on maintaining exceptions for the ultra-Orthodox, allowing them not to serve in the army.

Prepared by: Sergei Daga

Natasha Kumar

By Natasha Kumar

Natasha Kumar has been a reporter on the news desk since 2018. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining The Times Hub, Natasha Kumar worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my 1-800-268-7116

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