The so-called “French bill” may or may not pass in the end, but there was never for a moment a true danger that it would be the reason for new elections.
Coalition chairman David Bitan and MK David Amsalem, both from the Likud, have been very busy for the last 10 days or so going from microphone to microphone, reporter to reporter, blustering to anyone who will listen about how they are ready to go all the way with the bill giving a sitting prime minister immunity from criminal investigations, even if it means calling an election.
Anyone with the most elementary political interests could have called their bluff at any point last week, because the boisterous duo has very clearly been overplaying its hand. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu clearly does not want an election right now.
A Bayit Yehudi source said the party is somewhat perplexed as to why Netanyahu isn’t reining in Bitan more, since his constant threats are poisoning the atmosphere in a coalition that is relatively homogeneous, and – while it might not seem that way to political neophytes – has relatively little internal strife.
One possibility is that this bill is a “goat.” In Knesset parlance, a “goat” is a proposal that was planned to be withdrawn from the get-go.