With coalition talks with the chareidi parties beginning on Sunday, April 28, 2019, Yahadut Hatorah is planning to gain control over a number of government offices.
Members of the Agudas Yisrael faction met in Knesset at 5:00PM on Sunday, ahead of the 6:30PM meeting with Likud negotiators, led by Likud Minister Yariv Levin. Levin will be negotiating with Yaakov Litzman, Moshe Gafne, Meir Porush and Uri Maklev.
Yahadut Hatorah is going to request that their deputy ministerial posts have ministerial authority. Hence, they will be able to serve as ministers without violating their decision of Gedolim, that they cannot serve as cabinet ministers, only deputy ministers.
Their demands include that Litzman continue serving as Deputy Minister of Health, with ministerial authority as is the case today. In addition, Uri Maklev and Meir Porush will serve in the Housing and Social Welfare portfolios. The option of which portfolio goes to whom will lie in the hands of Maklev as per the agreement between Agudas Yisrael and Degel Hatorah. Yahadut Hatorah will also seek control of a Knesset committee, a slot that would go to Yaakov Asher, as well as an addition committee(s) for Agudas Yisrael MKs.
According to a Kikar Shabbos News report, quoting “a senior Yahadut Hatorah official” anonymously, they are seeking total control over Labor & Social Welfare, which would also permit the chareidim to halt the ongoing chilul Shabbos by Israel Railways as well as advancing projects for affordable housing for the chareidi sector.
Regarding the ‘Norwegian Law’, which permits a cabinet minister to resign and thereby permit others on their party list to take their slots as MKs; both the chareidi parties – Shas and Yahadut Hatorah favor advancing the law, as does the United Right-Wing. If that succeeds, then Eliyahu Chassid and Eliyahu Bruchi will be in Knesset, as they hold the ninth and tenth slots on the Yahadut Hatorah list.
Yitzhak Pindrus, who is in eighth place in Yahadut Hatorah, is expected to be a member of the Knesset’s organizing committee, whose task is to bring to the Knesset’s approval for the composition of the permanent Knesset committees.
(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)