After Bayit Yehudi leader Naftali Bennett informed Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu of his change of heart, his willingness to accept the Ministry of Education, Shas party leader Aryeh Deri announced he hopes to take control of the Economy Ministry, presently in the hands of Bayit Yehudi. This is in addition to Deri’s demands for total control of the Ministry of Religious Services.
Deri at the end of last week informed Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu that he is unwilling to accept the Interior Ministry as the District Planning Board component of the latter has been given to the Kulanu party. Interestingly, which Bayit Yehudi has dropped from 12 to 8 seats, Shas only earned 7 seats in the current Knesset, but it does appear PM Netanyahu prefers doing business with Aryeh Deri over Naftali Bennett. Bennett and Netanyahu locked horns constantly in the past administration, especially during Operation Protective Edge. In addition, Bennett locked the prime minister’s hands by aligning with Yair Lapid and his Yesh Atid party. Amid a realization the coalition talks have nothing to do with ideology or the good of the nation, it appears Mr. Netanyahu is working on the operating premise of “don’t get mad, get even”. The same holds true for Shas, which lost the Ministry of Religious Services in the 20th Knesset to Bayit Yehudi after Bennett and Lapid made sure the chareidi parties were excluded from the coalition.
Deri’s point is that he has seven seats and is only going to have one minister while Bayit Yehudi with 8 seats is demanding three ministries. In other bad news for Bayit Yehudi, it appears the party will be losing control over the Religious Services Ministry as well as the Housing Ministry.
(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)