Bennett should align again with Lapid to replace Shas and UTJ in the new government

T. Belman. To this list I would ask how can Bennett join a government that won’t lift the construction freeze or embrace the Levy Report. So far I have read nothing about this issue. Why doesn’t he once again join with Yair Lapid (11 mandates) and insist that Shas and UTJ be dropped from the Government if they don’t greatly reduce their demands. Yesh Atid would be a better fit than the two of them.

I just talked to a Bayit Yehudit insider about the thrust of this article and he advised that I shouldn’t believe anything I read in the papers and that the reality is far different. He went so far as to say that Bennett is not getting screwed and that any agreement achieved so far, with anyone, even if in writing is tentative only. Finally he nixed the Lapid idea saying Lapid is the only leader that Netanyahu has not talked to and that is because Lapid has removed himself from the running.

MK Rabbi Dov Lipman (Yesh Atid), Open letter to Naftali Bennett

Please, please be strong, and don’t cave. You are a man with values, and you represent a population that has strong principles. Represent them. And don’t give in just to sit in the next government.

The first issue of concern is the Religious Services Ministry: How can you, representing religious Zionism, possibly allow control over religious services to return to the hands of the ultra-Orthodox Shas party? What happened to your commitment to a more moderate and embracing approach to religion, which our country so desperately needs?

The second issue is conversion: Are you going to join a coalition which plans to rescind a government decision to make conversion more accessible, especially for the hundreds of thousands of non-Jewish Russian immigrants who moved to Israel under the Law of Return? What happened to your concern for the entire nation?

The third issue is employment, general education, and army/national service for the ultra-Orthodox population: Are you really going to sit in a government that plans to shift funding back to rabbinic seminaries instead of employment training? Which will restore significant funding to ultra-Orthodox schools that don’t teach Basic English and math? Can you look yourself in the mirror after going along with planned changes to the draft law – which you and your party were such a major part of crafting and passing?

And the fourth issue is the cabinet: I know Ayelet Shaked is an important person in your party, and an impressive leader. But will you really support undoing a law to reduce the number of ministers — which you voted for! — simply to offer her a ministry?

There comes a time when leaders have to stand for something. Naftali, if you join the government and give in on all these issues, then what do you stand for? What will voters make of your word – you campaigned on representing secular Jews, but then turn your back on them just to enter the government?

Naftali — this is your moment of truth. As someone who has gotten to know you and has seen your potential leadership qualities up close, I hope you will be strong and do what is right.

If not, then your name will unfortunately be added to the list of those “could have beens,” party leaders who chose the honor of ministerial positions instead of the glory of leading with principles and values.

And that would be a real shame.

April 28, 2015 | 4 Comments »

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  1. bernard ross Said:

    The right wing just moved left and the religious sector are too busy dividing up their pizza.

    Right wing? What right wing??? There are no longer national parties just sectoral ones and thjat includes labor and Likud.

    Israels version of the American spoils system.

  2. Likud set to sign coalition deals with UTJ, KulanuPM said rolling back key reforms to please ultra-Orthodox; Lapid slams ‘fire-sale’ for ‘anti-Zionist’ party at expense of taxpayers

    LOL, its easy to see what issues and ministries are of little importance to BB and those which he retains control, directly or indirectly. The right wing just moved left and the religious sector are too busy dividing up their pizza.

  3. Confirmed: Netanyahu to Appoint Bennett Education Minister
    After coalition crisis as Jewish Home walks out of talks, Likud tells party its request for education portfolio will be granted.

    After Jewish Home cut off coalition negotiations, Likud representatives have indicated to the party Tuesday night that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu will grant its chairman Naftali Bennett his request to become the education minister in the coalescing coalition.

    Bennett lost no time in demanding a budget increase for the ministry to the tune of a billion shekels ($260 million) according to Channel 2, with the large expenses meant to add an additional assistant in every kindergarten with over 30 children, and to continue the summer camp program initiated by previous Education Minister Shai Piron (Yesh Atid).

    Earlier Jewish Home met to express its anger over how coalition talks with Likud are progressing slowly, with one senior MK in the party even suggesting that it turn turn to the leftist Labor party to turn up the heat on Netanyahu.

    The coalition agreements being formulated are also to advance a law allowing Israeli citizens abroad to vote, which Netanyahu has pushed for since 1997 under the assumption that most Israelis abroad tend to vote for the nationalist camp.

    Jewish Home’s demands to curb Supreme Court activism are also to be included in the coalition agreements other than the agreement with Moshe Kahlon’s Kulanu party, which opposes reducing the Supreme Court’s power.

    Shas chairman Aryeh Deri meanwhile is demanding to be appointed minister in three portfolios – finance, religious affairs and a portfolio that was not detailed. Jewish Home continues to oppose Shas’s demand for complete control of the Religious Affairs Ministry, while the finance ministry looks more likely to go to Kulanu.

    An agreement between Kulanu and Likud is being held up due to Kahlon’s demand that former IDF commander Yoav Galant of his party be added to the Security Cabinet. Netanyahu has firmly rejected this demand.

    Earlier on Tuesday the haredi party United Torah Judaism (UTJ) reached a coalition agreement draft with Likud, with the draft to be brought before Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and UTJ’s rabbinical council. It is expected to receive a final signing either later Tuesday night or else Wednesday morning.

    Among the agreements that UTJ was able to achieve in the talks is a cancellation of the cut in budgets for yeshiva Torah academies which the outgoing coalition government implemented, as well as a freeze on the controversial conversion law.

  4. ‘Obama Pressuring Bibi against 67-MK Coalition’

    A senior source in the Jewish Home estimated Tuesday that White House pressure against a nationalist government is the real reason for the delay in the signing of a coalition deal between Likud and the religious Zionist party.

    The unnamed senior source was cited on Army Radio as saying that the Jewish Home has shown flexibility on numerous subjects, leaving very few disagreements between the parties, yet the prime minister is taking his time about signing the deal.

    The source estimated that the US is pressuring Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to establish a unity government with the Zionist Union (Labor and Hatnua), instead of the 67-MK government, which the US sees as too right-wing.

    US Undersecretary of State Wendy Sherman warned American Jewish leaders Sunday that “If the new Israeli government is seen to be stepping back from its commitment to a two-state solution that will make our job in the international arena much tougher… it will be harder for us to prevent internationalizing the conflict.”

    Speaking at a conference of the Reform Movement in the United States, Sherman insisted the US government has “always had Israel’s back in the international arena, even when it meant standing alone. This will continue to be the case.”

    But, she continued, Netanyahu’s statements prior to elections “raised questions about his commitment to the two-state solution.”

    “We will be watching very closely to see what happens on this [Palestinian] issue after the new government is formed,” Sherman added.
    Senior Jewish Home source estimates White House pressure is causing delay in signing coalition agreements.