Likud Split on Netanyahu’s Plans to Oppose Coalition Bill on Scholarships for Soldiers

Sources in Likud criticized Netanyahu’s plan to oppose the bill, with a senior member of the party saying that the opposition leader 'is causing very serious damage to Likud'

Michael Hauser Tov
Michael Hauser Tov
Send in e-mailSend in e-mail
Opposition leader Benjamin Netanyahu in the Knesset on Tuesday.
Opposition leader Benjamin Netanyahu in the Knesset on Tuesday.Credit: Ohad Zwigenberg
Michael Hauser Tov
Michael Hauser Tov

Several lawmakers from opposition leader Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud party plan to defy their leader and vote with the coalition to pass a bill funding academic studies for combat soldiers who have completed their compulsory military service.

Sources in the party criticized Netanyahu for intending to have the party oppose the legislation, in line with his efforts to torpedo bill after bill sponsored by the coalition.

LISTEN: Joshua Cohen On Winning a Pulitzer for ‘The Netanyahus’

Likud lawmaker Yoav Gallant tweeted on Wednesday that he was in favor of the bill, writing: “I will continue to lead the efforts to persuade the members of the Likud caucus to unanimously support the bill.” His Likud colleague Patin Mula also tweeted his intention to vote for the bill, regardless of how the rest of the party votes. “I will support the bill and I will do all I can so the bill passes!” he tweeted.

Sources in Likud criticized Netanyahu’s plan to oppose the bill, with a senior member of the party saying that “Netanyahu is causing very serious damage to Likud in his decision to withhold scholarships from combat soldiers. The public suddenly understands that petty politics are being played at the expense of the soldiers. Every day that passes, the public damage caused to Likud every day is huge. Who would dare to play politics at solders’ expense? He’s dragging us all to new lows.”

Netanyahu, for his part, wants to hold another debate on the bill before it is brought to an initial vote in the Knesset on Monday. Members of the coalition believe Netanyahu and Likud have suffered a blow to their image thanks to his plans.

On Wednesday, Defense Minister Benny Gantz discussed the bill with Netanyahu, tweeting afterward that he had “asked the head of the opposition to enlist in passing the bill for IDF combat soldiers,” adding: “I believe and hope that Likud and the opposition parties will understand the need [for the bill] and allow it bill to pass.”

However, Netanyahu claimed that he called Gantz and asked that the coalition support a bill advanced by Likud to increase the scholarships to 100 percent of fees (as opposed to two-thirds, as appears in the original bill). However, sources believe the purpose of this proposal is stopping passage of the coalition bill.

Netanyahu did not commit to any particular step in the conversation with Gantz, and both said no other issues came up.

Click the alert icon to follow topics:



Automatic approval of subscriber comments.

Subscribe today and save 40%

Already signed up? LOG IN


Palestinians search through the rubble of a building in which Khaled Mansour, a top Islamic Jihad militant was killed following an Israeli airstrike in Rafah, southern Gaza strip, on Sunday.

Gazans Are Tired of Pointless Wars and Destruction, and Hamas Listens to Them

Trump and Netanyahu at the White House in Washington, in 2020.

Three Years Later, Israelis Find Out What Trump Really Thought of Netanyahu

German soldier.

The Rival Jewish Spies Who Almost Changed the Course of WWII

Rio. Not all Jewish men wear black hats.

What Does a Jew Look Like? The Brits Don't Seem to Know

Galon. “I’m coming to accomplish a specific mission: to increase Meretz’s strength and ensure that the party will not tread water around the electoral threshold. If Meretz will be large enough, it will be the basis for a Jewish-Arab partnership.” Daniel Tchetchik

'I Have No Illusions About Ending the Occupation, but the Government Needs the Left'

Soldiers using warfare devices made by the Israeli defense electronics company Elbit Systems.

Russia-Ukraine War Catapults Israeli Arms Industry to Global Stage