Dissecting the latest Lieberman spin on bringing down Netanyahu's government
FM Avigdor Lieberman just stated that if the illegal outposts of Migron and Giv’at Assaf are demolished, Yisrael Beytenu would pull out of the coalition (Hebrew link). This would mean the end of this Netanyahu government since the coalition currently has 66 seats and with Yisrael Beytenu withdrawing its 15 MKs, the coalition won’t hold half the Knesset (120 seats in total).
The State was ordered by the Supreme Court to demolish both outposts by the end of March 2012. Both outposts are illegally built on private Palestinian land (illegal according to Israeli law as well). Because the Netanyahu government fears angering the settlers, it has asked the Supreme Court for a six-month extension for the demolition and is expected to receive the extension. Thus, there is no actual threat of the demolitions going through in the next ten months or so.
Lieberman has no intention of pulling out of the coalition because he wants to arrive to his trial (for multiple counts of fraud, witness tampering and embezzlement) as a Foreign Minister, which would make the police and judiciary more careful and deferential when handing his case.
Lieberman’s statement needs to interpreted in the context of his battle for primacy among right-wing voters against Netanyahu. This battle resulted in numerous pieces of anti-democratic legislation, with both Likud and Yisrael Beytenu MKs tabling bills designed to appeal to their right-wing base.