Tensions have been increasing between Naftali Bennett and Yair Lapid as the latter has been pushing cuts in funding to yeshivos and other issues that are objectionable to the dati leumi Bayit Yehudi party. The two met earlier this week and according to Maariv, basing the report on “persons in the loop regarding that meeting”, the two have agreed to rebuild the strong working connection that existed when the coalition was forming.
The report explains they both realize that if they cannot reach agreement, one or both parties may find themselves in opposition while and opposition party may take their place, hence the willingness to agree. Bennett is quoted as saying they agree on 70% of the issues in any event.
One of the areas in which there is agreement is ongoing efforts to draft chareidim into the IDF and Bennett and Lapid agreed to focus on moving this piece of legislation along at a brisk pace. The two agreed that if they do not focus on pushing the bill along it may be lost.
Another legislative matter discussed during the late night meeting was Lapid’s Civil Marriage Bill, with the two realizing even here there are many aspects of the bill upon which they agree as is the case with other matters of religion and state.
While Bennett continues courting his dear friend Yair Lapid, Bayit Yehudi Minister Uri Ariel and MK Yoni Chetboun both expressed outrage over the Civil Marriage Bill, vowing to do everything they can to torpedo it. Unlike Bennett, they openly state the bill is an affront to the Jewish character of the state.
(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)