It is reported early Thursday afternoon 11 Iyar that coalition negotiations between Shas and Likud are resuming today. Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has signaled his willingness to accept Shas leader Aryeh Deri’s demands to eliminate value added tax on basic essentials, a move Shas demands is necessary to assist Israelis living under the poverty line.
In a brazen move, Deri has been sending messages to the media, messages assuring the chareidi tzibur that he will close a deal, adding “They cannot build a coalition without us”. Deri exhibits a new level of confidence, telling the chareidi media that the prime minister will have to meet his demands if he wishes to build a coalition government. What is certain is that his statements will not endear the chareidi tzibur in the eyes of the public which maintains a scrutinizing eye on the coalition talks amid allegations chareidi parties are extorting the prime minister.
In another coalition matter there are also reports of progress in negotiation with Avigdor Lieberman and his Yisrael Beitenu party. This would mean Lieberman will continue as foreign minister. Reports do not explain how PM Netanyahu has resolved Lieberman’s unwillingness to enter a coalition with chareidi parties.
Regarding the Bayit Yehudi party, talks are reportedly still deadlocked.
(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)