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Shas Likely to Receive the Ministry of Religious Services

deriFollowing hour of intense negotiations on Sunday 1 Rosh Chodesh Iyar between Likud and Shas, it now appears that Shas will control the Ministry of Religious Services in the new coalition.

Earlier reports signaled the ministry would remain in the hands of Likud, but latest developments in the talks signal Shas will be receiving the portfolio as it wishes.

According to the information released, Deri will serve as Interior Ministry, but the planning board will not be in his hands, with the Kulanu party demanding the latter. Deri has the option of the Transportation Ministry instead if he wishes. In addition, it appears Shas will control the Religious Services Ministry.

It would appear that PM Netanyahu had to give in to Kulanu, which has ten seats, demanding the planning board component of the Interior Ministry. Since Deri could not have the entire Interior Ministry as expected, Mr. Netanyahu feels compelled to permit him to control the religious ministry as a consolation prize. Once again it is clear the prime minister prefers to ignore the request of the dati leumi Bayit Yehudi party in favor of Shas, giving credibility to Bayit Yehudi leader Naftali Bennett’s statements that is appears Likud will entertain Bayit Yehudi demands last. Bayit Leumi stated the ministry was a deal-breaker.

Bayit Yehudi officials are fuming over the news that Shas will take control of the ministry, which was in Bayit Yehudi control in the previous government. Speaking to Galei Tzahal (Army Radio), MK Ayelet Shaked indicated if there is not a change, and Shas remains in control of the ministry, Bayit Yehudi will remain in the opposition, not the coalition. Party MK Betzalel Smotrich told Kol Berama Radio “It now appears the prime minister is giving the control of the ministry exclusively to Shas. We are demanding joint control at the very leader in order to prevent losing all the gains achieved in the last administration”.

Smotrich was referring to the compromise solution announced by the prime minister, in which he would serve as minister of religious services and both Shas and Bayit Yehudi would have a deputy minister. Bayit Yehudi was amenable to this compromise while Shas indicated it was not.

(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)

4 Responses

  1. How much government money will this convicted gonif have under his control? Is there a plan to increase the audit staff of the treasury department?

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