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Divisive bill on hold as Israel grapples with new coalition

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attends the weekly cabinet meeting, in Jerusalem, Sunday, Nov. 25, 2018. (Ronen Zvulun/Pool Photo via AP)

JERUSALEM (AP) — A parliamentary vote on a contentious Israeli bill meant to rein in cultural content deemed disloyal to the state is being postponed.

Monday’s vote was apparently delayed because the coalition was unable to whip up enough votes to pass the bill. It could be shelved indefinitely.

The bill’s potential demise reflects the reality facing Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s recently downsized coalition. The coalition was reduced to a one-seat majority after former defense minister, Avigdor Lieberman, resigned earlier this month over a violent flare-up with Gaza militants.

While the coalition was kept intact despite threats by other partners to bring it down, it will likely struggle in its current composition to pass divisive laws such as the culture bill and could find itself susceptible to the extortion of any single lawmaker.

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