Itongadol.- Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu\’s reasoning behind firing Justice Minister Tzipi Livni (Hatnua) and Finance Minister Yair Lapid (Yesh Atid) was not merely punitive, but a calculated political move to outmaneuver them ahead of elections, Likud sources told Arutz Sheva Wednesday night.
"One of the reasons for the decision of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, to sack ministers Yair Lapid and Tzipi Livni, is not only to humiliate and punish them," sources stated, "[but] would not be able to take advantage of their status as ministers during the upcoming election campaign."
The sources added that Lapid and Livni could have, in theory, "changed regulations in the Finance Ministry or Justice Ministry to help them in the upcoming elections."
"That was something Netanyahu was unable to have a hand in," they concluded.
In a political firestorm, Netanyahu sacked Lapid and Livni Tuesday night, noting that a government divided against itself is unfit for leading the public.
"In recent weeks, including the last day, the ministers Lapid and Livni have sharply attacked the government I lead," the Prime Minister explained shortly after the announcement. "I will not tolerate any more opposition from within the government, I will not tolerate ministers attacking the policy of the government and its leader from within the government."
Hours later, he elaborated, accusing the two ministers of leading a "putsch."
"I turn to you tonight because in the current situation, in the current government, it is impossible to lead the nation," he said.
In his speech, Netanyahu stated that Lapid had turned to hareidi parties to form an alternate coalition – an accusation levied recently against Netanyahu himself – and noted that both Lapid and Livni had reneged on three main tasks of the coalition agreed upon after the past elections: to ensure that Jerusalem remain united, to demand that the Palestinian Authority (PA) recognize Israel as a Jewish state, and to maintain a strong stance against a nuclear Iran.
"In one word, you call that a putsch. You can\’t run a government this way," Netanyahu concluded.