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May 6, 2015 4:46 pm

Likud and Jewish Home Strike Coalition Deal Hours Before Deadline

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Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

JNS.org Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his Likud party narrowly formed a coalition agreement Wednesday with the help of the religious Zionist Jewish Home (Habayit Hayehudi) party just two hours before the final midnight deadline.

The Jewish Home’s decision to join paves the way for a narrow, 61-member coalition  with Kulanu, Shas, and United Torah Judaism.

“Finally, there’s a government in Israel,” Bennett said after the announcement, Yedioth Achronoth reported. “This isn’t a right-wing government, it isn’t a left-wing government, and it isn’t a center government. It’s a government of the entire nation of Israel,” he said.

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“I want to tell you, Mr. Prime Minister, we are behind you. We will help and aid you for the success of the government under your leadership,” Bennett added.

The Jewish Home party agreed to join after Netanyahu agreed to its demand to appoint MK Ayelet Shaked as justice minister. Netanyahu also named Jewish Home leader Naftali Bennett as the new minister of education, and named outgoing Construction Minister Uri Ariel as the new agriculture minister.

The announcement that a coalition has been formed follows days of tense negotiations, including some days with no communication between Likud and Jewish Home, reported Israel Hayom. Talks were renewed on Tuesday evening, after Likud officials applied heavy pressure on Jewish Home officials and religious Zionist rabbis to push Jewish Home leader Naftali Bennett to sign a coalition deal.

Likud MK Miri Regev said, “I call on Bennett to immediately join the government, enabling the establishment of a nationalist government. It is time to start working and stop playing ‘all-you-can-eat’ games.'”

On the other side, Jewish Home had accused Likud of humiliating it during the course of the coalition talks, particularly when Likud gave Shas control of the rabbinical courts and did not agree to appoint a Jewish Home member as deputy religious services minister.

Had Netanyahu not been able to reach a coalition by the midnight deadline, President Reuven Rivlin would have had to hold another round of consultations with party leaders and then give another party head, most likely Zionist Union leader Isaac Herzog, the mandate to form the government, or he would have called for a new election.

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  • Lema Byajo Charles

    I wish the new government of Israel success so that it may serve her citizens well. The security of Israel citizens matters much for the world at large. Shalom Prime Minister Netanyahu.
    From:
    Lema Charles

  • Atilla

    Excellent news, at least one Judeo-Christian country has a sane and stable government.

    Now,if only the USA and Englandistan could follow suit…..

    I’m not holding my breath though.

  • Paul

    Israeli politics have simply become disgusting.

    • Lawrence Wiener

      Once again, Netanyahu has been forced to sell out to the religious right. What a cockeyed system. The mayor of a city in Israel has stopped the Bar Mitzvah celebration of a group of developmentally disabled young adults who practiced for over a year for this event because it isn’t “Kosher” enough. And his party has just coerced itself into partnering with the majority. Reminiscent of the old cartoon, “We have met the enemy, and theyare us.

  • Markus Elkana Brajtman

    Congratulation on the new government.

    May Israel defeat every Jew hater and Israel hater.

    May HASHEM protect Israel and every Jew and loyal citizen of Israel.Mayu HASHEM protect every Israel soldier

    ISRAEL IS UNDER THE PROTECTION OF HASHEM
    GO BLESS ISRAEL

  • arne normann

    ..I do really hope Your New goverment will work, but of cource this is not Egypt…

  • Jim Delaney

    Israel is full of miracles. And thank God for that. The loss of Netanyahu to Israel and, indeed, to the western world, would have been terrible. Whew!

  • Congratulation from the USA!!!!! I am so so so deeply, profoundly happy that the Prime Minister Netanyahu was able to form the Government Israel so deeply needs, and equally important, the fact the Naftali Bennett is part of the coalition makes it even more interesting and perhaps safer for the Country. I was heartbroken when Bennett attempted to part away from supporting Bibi and to form his own party, but now, I am so grateful to Hashem for guiding this whole process, that I have been crying tears of true joy. God bless the new formed Government, and may Hashem continue his presence and guidance of the best Leaders of the Holy Land. Congratulation Mr. Netanyahu, congratulation Mr. Bennett, I will always support both of you, and hope you both can continue to work together.

  • Daniel MacDonald

    Bravo!

  • DAVID S.WISNIA

    kol hakavod israel continue to be a model forthe rest of the world frmer aushwitz inmate 83526 proud of you bibi

  • martin kessler

    MAZEL TOV

  • Julian Clovelley

    I can’t see how this can possibly work – you cannot run two political scripts simultaneously. A religious script and a democratic script cannot be concurrently operated, because the religious one will always dominate the democratic one with the threat to pull the plug if its frequently irrational and counter productive and divisive aims are not pursued

    Which then makes the political script unacceptable to non adherents and outside observers – especially where territory, racial identity and exclusivity are involved

    Good luck anyway

  • Many on the center-right to right have been critical of Bennett and Bayit Yehudi for holding-out to the last minute, but I would suggest it was correct for them to insist on proper roles for their leadership. Likud is to be respected, for sure, but it is also obvious that Likud would not have received 30 mandates if it had not begged supporters of Bayit Yehudi and other parties to vote Likud in order to ensure a Likud-led government. If a new election were called and Bayit Yehudi actively resisted the same type of begging, Bayit Yehudi would score more mandates. Thus, it had a right to demand respect and fair participation in the new cabinet. Bibi is the best leader for Israel today, but concerned Israeli’s and supporters of Israel should want to see new leadership given opportunities to develop their leadership skills for the future.

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