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July 8, 2015 / 21 Tammuz, 5775
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Naftali Bennett’

The ‘Almost’ Coalition: Bennett Education Minister and Lieberman FM

Sunday, April 26th, 2015

Formation of a new government is almost complete after Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Bayit Yehudi (Jewish Home) chairman Naftali smoked a peace pipe on Friday.

Bennett has backed down on his party taking over the post of Foreign Minister, which Yisrael Beiteinu chairman Avigdor Lieberman will retain, or Defense Minister, where the Likud’s Moshe Ya’alon will continue to run.

Instead, Bennett will head the Education Ministry, a plum because of its budget allocations that include national religious institutions. He will give up the post as Minister of Economy, which Reshet Bet (Voice of Israel) radio said may be filled by Silvan Shalom of the Likud.

Bayit Yehudi will get two other posts. Uri Ariel will serve as Minister of Agriculture, which is important for Jordan Valley farmers as well as those in Judea and Samaria, and Ayelet Shaked reportedly will be Minister of Sport and Culture. Pensioners’ affairs and responsibility for national service, such as Sherut Leumi for girls and boys who prefer that option as an alternative to IDF service, probably will be attached to the ministry.

Shas is slated to head the Religious Affairs Ministry under a compromise with Bayit Yehudi, whose Rabbi Eli Ben-Dahan probably will be deputy minister.

The last remaining puzzle in the coalition is the Yehadut HaTorah (UTJ) party, but with all the other pieces in place, Netanyahu should have no problem finalizing the coalition by the end of this week or shortly after, meeting the latest deadline granted by President Reuven Rivlin.

One other question is what ministry will be run by senior Likud MK Shalom, who was Minister for Development in the Galilee and Negev in the last government. The best bet is that he will replace Bennett as Minister of Economy.

The proposed coalition, for now, includes Sofa Landver continuing as Minister of Immigration, and Kulanu chairman Moshe Kachlon as Finance Minister. His party also is slated to head the Environment and Housing Ministries.

Yisrael Katz of the Likud will continue as Minister of Transportation, and Voice of Israel reported that Yuval Steinitz will be the new Minister for Public Security.

That will be good news for the public at large following a miserable defense of the police by outgoing Minister Yitzchak Aharonovich. Several senior police officers have been dismissed or are under investigation for sexual harassment.  Aharonovich also has been under constant criticism for ignoring police brutality.

The proposed coalition is a far cry from the previous government, which was doomed from the outset with the inclusion of Yesh Atid, headed by Yair Lapid.

With all coalition partners more or less seeing eye to eye on most foreign and domestic policies, the next government has a chance of achieving a rare feat and staying in office until the end of its four-year term, sparing Israeli voters of another exasperating election until 2019

Rivlin Gives Netanyahu Two More Weeks to Form New Government

Monday, April 20th, 2015

President Reuven Rivlin granted Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu two more weeks Monday morning to form a new government coalition after negotiations with different t parties have not produced a positive result.

Rivlin really had no other choice. He would like to see a national unity government with the Likud and the Zionist Union, the euphemism for the merged HaTnuah party headed by Tzipi Livni and Labor, chaired by Yitzchak Herzog.

Herzog and Livni do not want to be part of a Netanyahu-led government no more than he wants them on board.

The term “national unity” sounds terrific, but in this case it would be “national disunity” govern the deep ideological gap between the two parties.

Likud officials are to speak with the Hareidi Shas and Yehadut HaTorah parties today. Shas is the biggest obstacle for Netanyahu because of the threat by Bayit Yehudi (Jewish Home) to ditch the coalition if Shas heads the Ministry of Religious Affairs.

Bennett Flexes Muscles and Threatens to Knock Out Coalition

Monday, April 20th, 2015

Bayit Yehudi (Jewish Home) chairman Naftali Bennett used Twitter late Sunday night to warn Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu that he can forget about a right-wing coalition if he fulfills a pre-election promise to give the Shas Sephardi Hareidi party control of the Ministry of Religious Affairs.

Bennett was in charge of the ministry in the last government and is not willing to leave the national religious community out in the cold and let a Hareidi party reverse a trend to weaken the authority of the Hareidi establishment.

Bennett wrote:

Unilaterally taking the Ministry of Religious Affairs away from the national religious community and handing it over to Shas means the end of negotiations with Bayit Yehudi.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu is asking President Reuven Rivlin for another two weeks to form a coalition.

The truth is that if the Prime Minister had run out of extensions, he and the potential coalition partners would have struck a deal now. As usual, everyone uses the clock to play chicken with each other.

Netanyahu knows that Bennett and Shas chairman Aryeh Deri are not prepared to force him into a corner without a coalition. And Bennett and Aryeh know that that if they do so, there always is the option of a national unity government with the dreaded Yitzchak Herzog and Tzipi Livni. Going that route would make the last Titanic coalition look like the Queen Elizabeth, so you can count on everyone finding common ground.

But how can Netanyahu get out of this mess created by promising the Religious Affairs Ministry to Shas when Bennett blocks it with a red line?

Easy.

Netanyahu can simply declare himself Minister of Religious Affairs and appoint two deputies – Bennett and Deri.

We wanted a Jewish country, right?

So we come up with Jewish solutions.

Two Jews, three ministers.

Liberman and Bennett Teaming Up Against Netanyahu

Sunday, April 19th, 2015

MK Ayelet Shaked (Bayit Yehudi) said that Bayit Yehudi will not let Shas get the Religious Affairs Ministry, even if it means blowing up the negotiations, according to Nana10.

Shaked said the Bayit Yehudi party would not abandon all the achievements it made on religion and state issues.

Channel 2 reports that Minister Avigdor Liberman (Yisrael Beytenu) and Minister Naftali Bennett (Bayit Yehudi) have reached an agreement so that Bayit Yehudi would stop demanding the Foreign Ministry from PM Netanyahu, which is the ministry that Liberman wants; in exchange Liberman would help Bennett get the Religious Affairs Ministry, which the Hareidi Shas party is demanding, and at this point is expected to get.

Bennett also wants either the Defense or Foreign Ministry, but would be willing to settle for less if properly compensated with additional, smaller ministries as well as an alternative senior position. Netanyahu supposedly promised Bennett the Defense Minsitry before the elections, when it was thought Bayit Yehudi would have at least 12 seats.

Liberman and Bennett would both work together to prevent Netanyahu from bringing the Zionist Union into the coalition.

Yitzchak Herzog (Zionist Union) again said that he would not be joining the coalition with Netanyahu, and will be in the opposition working to replace Netanyahu.

It appears that Netanyahu wanted to save negotiating with Liberman for last, after he had 61 seats on board from the other coalition partners. This would have given Liberman very little negotiating power.

But Netanyahu isn’t making his most natural partner, Bayit Yehudi, very happy at the moment, and the plan may have backfired.

One of the latest rumors says that Bayit Yehudi will receive four ministries, of which Naftali Bennett would receive both the Ministry of the Economy and the Intelligence Ministry.

The other two ministies they would get are Agriculture for Uri Ariel and Senior Citizens for Ayelet Shaked.

Yisrael Hayom, which is close to Netanyahu, says that the Likud will keep 12 ministries, including: Defense, Justice, Interior Security, Communications, Transportation, Social and Education.

Coalition Talk Updates

Friday, April 17th, 2015

Sources in Bayit Yehudi are signalling that party chief Naftali Bennett is prepared to give up his demand for the Foreign Ministry under two conditions.

The first condition is that Bayit Yehudi be properly compensated for giving up the lucrative ministerial position, which rumor has it, the compensation has already been offered to him.

The other demand is that Avigdor Liberman doesn’t get the Foreign Ministry instead of him, according to an NRG report. Netanyahu is meeting with Liberman today.

This week JewishPress.com reported that Bennett is likely to receive the Ministry of the Economy, as well as the Ministry of Strategic Affairs as compensation.

Another major disagreement is over the Ministry of Religion, which Shas’s Deri is expected to get, but Bayit Yehudi wants.

The Likud told Bayit Yehud that Shas will be getting the Minsitry of Religion and will not be sharing any part of it with Bayit Yehudi.

Shas will probably also get the Ministry of the Interior, minus the Planning Division, which will be transfered over to Moshe Kachlon’s Kulanu party.

Update: Netanyahu met personally with Naftali Bennett today for the first time in 2 weeks. The meeting was held before Netanyahu’s meeting with Liberman.

Likud and Bayit Yehudi Continue Coalition Talks

Monday, April 6th, 2015

The teams representing the Likud and Bayit Yehudi parties continue to meet to work out a coalition deal.

At this point, the primary road block is the position that Bayit Yehudi party head Naftali Bennett will receive.

Bennett is demanding the Foreign Ministry, a job he would be very good at, after his excellent representation of Israel during Operation Protective Edge.

Netanyahu wants to give the Foreign Ministry to Avigdor Liberman.

If Bennett doesn’t receive the Foreign Ministry position, which is considered a top senior position, Netanyahu may try to compensate Bennett with additional, smaller ministries to make up for the difference, or combine different ministries together to create a custom tailored senior ministry for Bennett to run.

Presumably, Bennett would be part of the inner-circle security cabinet, regardless of what position he receives.

With the Iran nuclear threat in the air, there are rumors floating of a potential unity government between Likud and Labor, but both sides have denied that this is an option.

Marzel and Bennett Suffering from Post-Election Trauma

Friday, April 3rd, 2015

Yachad party election loser Baruch Marzel and Bayit Yehudi (Jewish Home) chairman Naftali Bennett still are licking their wounds more than two weeks after the elections in which Yachad was blanked out of the Knesset and Bayit Yehudi lost four seats.

Yachad’s failure to win the minimum number of votes to enter the Knesset meant that three seats were lost to the national religious bloc. It is assumed that at least two of them would have gone to the Jewish Home party and a third possibly to Shas

Marzel is not chairman of Yachad, but he wins hand down for getting the most headlines, given his ability to provoke fierce reactions to his activism and blunt speech.

He has no regrets that Yachad ran in the elections, despite warnings that it would fail at the polls and weaken the Bayit Yehudi and Shas parties.

He told Arutz Sheva, “We did the right thing, we brought in more power, and we tried hard to pass the threshold. But, on the other hand, there is no doubt that we failed.”

He then went on a rant against Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu for doing “terrible things, hurting the national religious public and communities, the destruction of outposts – it hurts.”

Yachad still is crying “foul” and claiming that it lost enough votes to enter the Knesset because of “thousands of fake votes.”

He figures that there will not be an investigation because elections judges “can’t afford to take a mandate from Yesh Atid and Labor and put Baruch Marzel in the Knesset.”

Bennett, chairman of Bayit Yehudi, was stoic when the election results were announced. He said that although the Bayit Yehudi’s eight seats in the Knesset are four less than in the previous session, he is certain Netanyahu knows that those seats went to the Prime Minister’s Likud party after a last-minute media blitz that continued even on the day of elections.

Netanyahu is too much of a veteran politician to express gratitude to another party, and Bennett is insulted.

A leaked audio that was broadcast on Army Radio Thursday revealed that Bennett ripped into Netanyahu during a meeting with Bayit Yehudi supporters, some of whom heckled Bennett.

Bennett wants to be Defense Minister of Foreign Minister, but Netanyahu is giving him the cold shoulder.

Bennett accused the Prime Minister of treating the Bayit Yehudi as a party of “suckers” by offering the party to choose between the Education Ministry and Foreign Affairs Ministry, although Netanyahu already may have reserved that for Yisrael Beiteinu chairman Avigdor Lieberman.

Netanyahu was not impressed by Bennett’s anger, and stated, “Bennett is in dire straits because he has not found a partner to gang up on Likud.” referring to Bennett’s luvvy-duvvy relationship with Yesh Lapid in the previous  government.

Bennett’s biggest fear is that Netanyahu will reward the Shas Sephardi Haredi party with the Religious Ministry of Education ministry, at the cost of the national religious sector.

Meanwhile Moshe Kachlon, chairman of the new Kulanu party, continues to act as if he has post-election delusions. He won 10 seats in the Knesset and already has insisted that being Finance Minister is not enough. Kachlon wants to veto Netanyahu’s desire to choose a Haredi Knesset Member to head the Knesset Finance Committee and also wants one of his party’s MKs to head the Environment or Housing ministry.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/marzel-and-bennett-suffering-from-post-election-trauma/2015/04/03/

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