Likud is willing to give up the Ministry of the Economy, which will be offered to Bayit Yehudi leader Naftali Bennett. By now it should be clear to Bennett that since his party only has eight seats in the current Knesset, he will not serve as defense or foreign minister. In addition, Bayit Yehudi was informed that Uri Ariel will not serve as minister of housing again, offering him the agriculture portfolio.
Bennett and other party officials accuse the prime minister and Likud of ignoring them since elections. Bennett has stated Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu promised to make them a senior coalition partner but Bayit Yehudi is now all but ignored. Likud officials explain to Bennett that he did not deliver the goods and while he banked on gaining seats in the elections, the party is one-third smaller today than prior to elections.
Speaking to Galei Tzahal (Army Radio) on Sunday morning 1 Rosh Chodesh Iyar, Ayelet Shaked stated the party will not permit Shas to receive the Ministry of Religious Services since Bayit Yehudi “made too much progress to permit Shas to control the ministry” today. According to reports from ongoing negotiations, Likud officials have decided the Ministry of Religious Services will not be given to either Shas or Bayit Yehudi but it will remain in Likud control.
Shaked also reminded listeners that she landed the top elected slot in the party primaries, an apparent reference to rumors that she will not be serving as a cabinet minister in the current coalition government. She had announced during elections she was going to be serving as the minister of public security but the party failed to receive the numbers in elections to make such demands.
(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)
The stage is being set
Bennet is willing to step back and accept a relatively second tier ministry in the interim ,since
Bennett and Netanyahu have an under the table understanding that the former will be one of the senior leaders or possibly the Leader of the whole “National Camp” after Netanyahu steps down