Talks are underway with the various factions towards forming the next coalition government. One of the parties involved in the talks, hoping to be a member of the next coalition, is the United Right-Wing, composed of Bayit Yehudi and Ichud Leumi. The Otzma Yisrael party was also part of the union for the purpose of Knesset elections.
It appears that party leader, Rabbi Rafi Peretz, is making good on campaign promises and is calling for the Education and Justice portfolios to remain with the dati leumi party as was the case in the outgoing coalition. Joining Peretz is the number two man, MK Betzalel Smotrich, who explains it is only natural for them to receive the posts since they were in the hands of Naftali Bennet and Ayelet Shaked in the outgoing administration, before they broke away from the party.
Over recent days, it has been reported that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu is not planning to give Smotrich the Justice Ministry, but he is willing to give the Education Ministry to Peretz. However, Peretz on Monday announced he is not planning on compromising regarding demands for the Justice Ministry portfolio.
Speaking with Maariv, Peretz reported PM Netanyahu has decided not to give Smotrich the Justice appointment, but it is just a political spin. “B’ezras Hashem, I will be the Minister of Education of the State of Israel and Smotrich Justice Minister. Our problem is clear, and I will fight for these appointments”, Peretz added.
(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)