Likud and Bayit Yehudi reached agreement about 90 minutes before the deadline of the 42-day mandate to form a government. As a result of direct talks between Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Bayit Yehudi leader Naftali Bennett, a coalition of 61 has been formed. The two agreed on the major points, leaving some of the relatively minor details to be completed.
The coalition is made up of Likud (30), Kulanu (10), Bayit Yehudi (8), Shas (7) and Yahadut Hatorah (6).
“Mr. Prime Minister, we are behind you and will do anything to help your success and the success of the government. The result is good and worthy of all, and this government will be able to complete its term” stated Bennett after the agreement was announced.
Despite Mr. Bennett’s optimism, most believe that if the prime minister does not succeed in bringing others on board, the coalition with a one seat majority will not near completing its four-year term.
According to the agreement, Ayelet Shaked will serve as Minister of Justice. She will also head the Ministerial Law Committee and she will be a member of the Security Cabinet. However the Committee that Appoints Dayanim is moved from the Justice Ministry to Likud control.
Bennett will serve as Minister of Education and a member of the Security Cabinet. The party will also receive the Deputy Defense Minister slot as well as responsibility for Bedouin communities in the Negev.
The sides have yet to decide a number of things including the amount that will be added to the Education Ministry budget.
Opposition leader Yitzchak Herzog responded to the reported agreement saying “This is a government without responsibility, stability or governability”.
(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)
Except for Kulanu, Netanyahu has coalition partners who will not make trouble for him since they can easily be replaced by people they can’t stand.