Naftali Bennett, head of the Bayit Yehudi party, completely cut off communications today as negotiations with the Likud reached an impasse, just a day before Netanyahu’s deadline to form a coalition. No one from the Likud party was able to reach him, no matter how hard they tried. It’s a trick he clearly learned and perfected from Avigdor Liberman.
Bennett believes that Netanyahu is short-changing his party with unreasonable offers and low-level ministries, as well as giving too much to Shas and in particular the Ministry of Religious Affairs.
One rumor has it that Bennett is concerned that Netanyhu is just biding time and creating a temporary coalition until the Zionist Camp can dump Tzipi Livni, at which point it will join Netanyahu’s coalition, replacing the Bayit Yehudi party.
Breaking his silence on Tuesday evening, according to Channel 2, Bennett has demanded the Justice Portfolio for Ayelet Shaked, and that she be appointed as early as next week.
One of Bennett’s major goals is a reform of Israel’s High Court, and in particular, restricting their judicial activism, limiting their ability to unilaterally override legislative decisions made by the democratically elected Knesset, and democratizing the judicial selection process, so future judges better represent the values of the nation, and not just the far left. Currently, current High Court judges effectively select their successors.
Netanyahu does not want an open battle with the High Court this term, and as such, he has been trying to keep control of the Ministry of Justice within the Likud.
One thing is certain, the right will never forgive Netanyahu if he doesn’t form a coalition with Bennett, and instead brings in the Zionist Camp.