Photo Credit: Courtesy of Religious Zionism
MK Bezalel Smotrich meets with leading national-religious rabbis, November 13, 2022.

Leading national-religious rabbis headed by Rabbis Haim Drukman and Yaakov Ariel gathered Sunday night to receive updates from Religious Zionism Chairman Bezalel Smotrich about the coalition negotiations. They called on Smotrich to unequivocally and uncompromisingly insist on becoming Minister of Defense (See: Report: Smotrich Met with Retired IDF Generals in Preparation for Defense Ministry).

The meeting included Rabbi David Chai HaCohen, Rabbi Yehoshua Shapira, Rabbi Chaim Gantz, Rabbi Shimon Cohen, Rabbi Yoel Manovich, Rabbi David Pandel, and Rabbi David Turgeman.

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The distinguished rabbis who, strongly support the settlement enterprise, encouraged Smotrich to take over the Defense Ministry to strengthen the security of the State of Israel and the IDF’s spirit, prevent the establishment of a Palestinian State, and legalize the Jewish outposts in Judea and Samaria.

The rabbis also encouraged Smotrich to demand the Education and Religious Services portfolios for Religious Zionism, noting that it is of utmost importance that the party lead the efforts to boost the Jewish identity of the state in the spirit of the Torah.

The rabbis made a personal appeal to Prime Minister-designate Binyamin Netanyahu to recognize the power, value, and partnership of the Religious Zionism faction, which won the trust of over half a million voters and received 14 mandates (together with Otzma Yehudit).

At this point, Religious Zionism and Shas are fighting over who gets Defense and Finance, as well as who gets Religious Services. But as I noted earlier today, Netanyahu has been avoiding Smotrich since the last time they met on Wednesday.

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David writes news at JewishPress.com.