UPDATE: In response to the hostilities we cite below, Kan 11 News reported Wednesday that Prime Minister Yair Lapid intervened with the visiting US delegation asking that Alternate Prime Minister Naftali Bennett would be permitted to greet President Biden on the tarmac, alongside Lapid, and President Isaac Herzog. The Americans refused at first, but Lapid insisted. So everything we wrote below should be erased in the spirit of revived brotherhood.
Remember last Sunday we reported that about half of the ministers were absent or late for Prime Minister Yair Lapid’s cabinet meeting (Lapid to Biden: Renew Sanctions Against Iran), revealing that they had other priorities than serving as extras in the coming Yesh Atid election videos? Now it turns out at least one of them, former PM Naftali Bennett, stayed away from the meeting as an act of protest.
According to a Kan 11 News Tuesday night report, there’s tension between the two “brothers in arms.” The alternate prime minister’s Office has accused PM Lapid of briefing against Bennett in recent days, and Bennett is enraged about reports regarding his demands as the deputy PM, and briefings that have come out of the PM’s office ahead of Biden’s visit, according to which Bennett wants to squeeze himself into the various ceremonies.
Say it ain’t so, Naftali.
— כאן חדשות (@kann_news) July 12, 2022
Kan 11 cited sources involved in the relationship between the two brothers in arms, who claim Bennett boycotted the cabinet meeting on Sunday in protest of Lapid’s conduct. Bennett’s absence was felt at the meeting, which was Lapid’s second such meeting since taking office.
Bennett’s people said the idea was to clear the stage for Lapid, and that, as we noted, Bennett was not the only one who was not present at the meeting, about half of the ministers were late or absent from the meeting.
That’s a lot of clear stage.
Last week it was reported that the appointments committee of the Civil Service Commission refused the request of Alternate Prime Minister Bennett to appoint a director-general to his office. As a result, Bennett was forced to appoint Eden Bizman as acting director-general of the Alternate Prime Minister’s Office.
Bizman used to be the Prime Minister’s chief of staff.
At the same time, the Commission approved for Lapid the appointment of Naama Schultz as the Director-General of the Permanent Prime Minister’s Office.
The Commission justified the difference in its decisions saying that a director-general in the Prime Minister’s Office is an important role that must be confirmed.