MK (Bayit Yehudi) Nissim Slomiansky, who headed the Knesset Finance Committee in the 19th Knesset, announced his party must receive control of the Ministry of Education, calling it a deal-breaker. Slomiansky explained that if Bayit Yehudi does not receive control of the ministry it must break away from entering the forming coalition.
According to Slomiansky, the Education Ministry is not viewed as a consolation prize by his party, insisting Bayit Yehudi wanted the portfolio from the very beginning of talks. He told the dati leumi Srugim website “I said we wanted this ministry all along. The only difference is that I viewed it as a first option not as the second [as some colleagues did]” he explains. He stresses the significance of controlling this ministry, and that despite what some may believe this is not a “take what you get” situation for Bayit Yehudi as party officials’ are quite aware of the importance and significance of being responsible for the state’s education.
Regarding ongoing coalition talks, Slomiansky explains the fact that no one has signed on to date is not significant, pointing out that generally speaking, coalition partners sign on at the last moment.
Regarding chareidi and left-wing fears of Naftali Bennett serving as minister of education, Erdan stated “Bennett is not anyone’s enemy. I believe that Zevulun Hammer received the ministry amid similar fears. No reason to become concerned. Whatever portfolio is received the left-wing will cast dispersions upon us. If we receive the Justice Ministry the left-wing will object”. Slomiansky added that he is confident Bennett will serve the nation well in the post, adding “Yes, he will also look out for his own community and there is no shame in that”.
(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)