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Smotrich: If I Am Not Justice Minister, Bibi Will Not Have A Coalition

Speaking to Arel Segal of 103fm Radio, MK Betzalel Smotrich on Tuesday morning stated that Netanyahu will not have a coalition if he does not become justice minister.

Reports have indicated Prime Minister Netanyahu does not plan to appoint Smotrich to replace Ayelet Shaked, but he and party leader Rabbi Rafi Peretz have been consistent, insisting they are unwilling to compromise on the appointment of Smotrich to the post. Bayit Yehudi leader Rafi Peretz has stated that he plans to become Israel’s next education minister as well, sending an audible message to PM Netanyahu and his coalition negotiating team.

During the interview, he explained the party held both the education and justice portfolios in the outgoing administration, and he and the party leader feel they should continue with the posts. What has changed however is that Bayit Yehudi had eight seats in Knesset, and with the break leading to the new Bayit Yehudi, without Naftali Bennet and Ayelet Shaked, the party only earned five seats in Knesset. Bennet and Shaked New Right party failed to meet the minimum Knesset threshold and are therefore no longer in Knesset.

Undoubtedly Bayit Yehudi is aware they are needed for the prime minister to maintain a stable coalition, and they hope to use this as leverage to receive the two positions being demanded, despite the party being significantly smaller.

(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)

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