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Monday, February 18, 2013

Netanyahu furious at Lapid, Bennett

Prime Minister Netanyahu is said to be furious with Yair Lapid and Naftali Bennett for what he sees as a conspiracy to prevent the Haredi parties (Shas and United Torah Judaism) from joining a Likud-led coalition.
Sources who attended Netanyahu’s meeting with Likud ministers said he spoke of Lapid and Bennett with contempt, complaining that “their strategy is not to reach solutions on key issues, only to push out the haredi parties.”
Ministers quoted Netanyahu as saying that Lapid and Bennett cared only about advancing themselves politically rather than the good of the country.
Mocking Lapid’s plan for equalizing the burden of IDF service, Netanyahu said that “it will neither bring equality nor ease anyone’s burden.”
Sources close to the prime minister went further, alleging that Lapid and Bennett were aiming to break the 36-yearold bond between Likud and the haredi parties, so that following the next election, they will not recommend that Netanyahu form the government.
So far, at least, the Haredi parties have shown much more willingness to compromise than have Bennett and Lapid. JPost called this story a 'ploy' on Sunday, but the way it's being reported in the Haredi papers on Monday, it's for real.
A UTJ official told the Post that the party was considering supporting a raft of measures such as a settlement freeze, the evacuation of unauthorized settlement outposts and the reopening of peace negotiations with the Palestinians.
Such a move, he said, would allow the prime minister to form a coalition with left leaning parties including The Tzipi Livni Party and even Meretz, and leave Bayit Yehudi outside of the government.
The source noted that the upcoming visit of US President Barak Obama would likely bring new pressure from the White House to make concessions to the Palestinians, something that his party is now considering supporting.
The UTJ official said that the preservation of military service exemptions for haredi yeshiva students was the single most important issue on the party’s agenda and that UTJ would be willing to compromise on other issues in order to maintain the status quo on haredi enlistment.
“The haredi public thinks that Bennett has gone to war against them,” the UTJ official said. “We want to remind him that Netanyahu can build a coalition without Bayit Yehudi and remind the national religious community that Bennett ran a campaign on strengthening the national bloc and the settlements, not on forming agreements with Yesh Atid.”
According to the Council of Jewish Communities of Judea, Samaria and the Gaza Strip, 17% of voters in their region gave their support to the United Torah Judaism, as opposed to Shas, which garnered only 10% of their vote.
Yes, but if you broke down those numbers by community, you would discover that there is likely just one town outside the security fence route (Emanuel) where there was significant support for UTJ. The two big Haredi cities (Kiryat Sefer and Beitar - mentioned later in the article) are close to the 'green line' and are part of the 'settlement blocs.' They would not be affected.

And in fact, the reports in the Haredi papers go even further, saying that the party will disclose to the public how much it really costs to protect each individual hill in Samaria. They're in a position to do it. UTJ never takes a ministry but they have chaired the Knesset Finance Committee for as long as I can remember. 

Mrs. Carl calls this a 'pact with the devil' and it might well be. But I don't see the Haredi parties having any other leverage to maintain what they regard as their most important interest, which is to keep the yeshiva boys out of the army. Note that they're not supporting a 'Palestinian state' and I doubt they would without awfully solid security.

And yes, this is designed to put pressure on Naftali Bennett.... Back to the first link....
Channel 2 reported that Netanyahu intended to build a coalition with the 57 MKs of Likud Beytenu, Shas, UTJ, The Tzipi Livni Party and Kadima, and then give Bennett a choice between joining the coalition without Lapid or initiating an election in which the Left could come to power.
Livni denied a Channel 10 report that she had accepted the justice portfolio.
I understand Lapid, but Bennett seems to forget that most of his mandates come from national religious revenants and not from the secular population. At least one 'settlement leader' agrees with me.
One settler leader told Yishai, “Bennett is making a mistake if he is seeking a momentary deal with Lapid rather than a stable bond with Shas.”
Yishai warned the settler leaders that “if there will be a diplomatic process, Lapid will throw Bennett out of the government.
We [in Shas], however, are not a spare tire for the Left.”
Sources close to Bennett denied that his party sought a coalition without haredim.
Read the whole thing.

Eli Yishai's protests notwithstanding (recall that during the elections, Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, Shas' spiritual guide, blasted Jewish Home as a party of goyim), my bet is on the 57 MK scenario and Bennett being presented with an ultimatum. He and Lapid have both gone too far. That's fine with Netanyahu. Sara doesn't like Bennett anyway.

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At 1:11 PM, Blogger Trumpeldor said...


Isn'it just a delaying process in order to receive obamama without a proper government ?
How might his pressures be exerted without a proper target ?
Just a thought...


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