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Sunday, February 17, 2013

Yacimovich to be Finance Minister?

Labor party leader Shelly Yacimovich has apparently been offered the Finance Ministry if she brings her Labor party into the coalition according to a report in the Jerusalem Post which is not being denied by the Likud.
When Dana Weiss, host of Channel 2’s Meet the Press, asked Ya’alon if Netanyahu wants the haredim in his coalition so badly that he would offer Yacimovich the Finance Ministry despite their opposing economic opinions, he responded: “It’s not about the haredim. It’s so we can have the widest coalition possible.”
Labor declined to comment on what Netanyahu offered Yacimovich at their meeting, saying only that the prime minister invited her to his home and that despite the meeting taking place in a pleasant atmosphere, the gaps between their worldviews are too great, and Labor will remain in the opposition.
Well, maybe. But giving Labor the Finance Ministry would be a disaster for the country.

In the meantime, the 'widest coalition possible' is looking more and more like 61 (Likud 31, Jewish Home 12, Shas 11, United Torah Judaism 7).
Ya’alon continued his party’s efforts to break up the agreement between Bayit Yehudi chairman Naftali Bennett and Yesh Atid chairman Yair Lapid in an attempt to bring the former into a coalition with the haredim and leave the latter out.
Although the vice premier denied reports that he is part of a team appointed specifically to meet that goal, he listed reasons that he thought the pact between the parties was “strange,” as he described it.
“Equality in the burden [of national service] is what unites Yesh Atid and Bayit Yehudi against the haredim? That sounds totally strange,” Ya’alon commented.
“They have a treaty that does not reflect their basic interests.”
“Bayit Yehudi is the only party, as far as I know, to get a serious offer [in coalition talks],” Ya’alon said, in reference to Likud Beytenu offering Bayit Yehudi four portfolios, including Education and a deputy defense minister, last week.
At the time, Bayit Yehudi said it had originally heard about the offer on the news.
A day later it was received through official Likud Beytenu channels, and Bayit Yehudi turned it down. The party said it wants to deal with issues before portfolios.
“If, in the end, Bayit Yehudi is out of the coalition despite all we offered them, who will really have paid a political price?” he asked.
Ya’alon repeated that his party is seeking the “broadest, most stable coalition, which is what the prime minister wants,” and is not counting out any party.
“There can’t be talks where people say ‘we just don’t want haredim,’” he said.
“Likud Beytenu doesn’t leave anyone out.”
And who wants to leave the Haredim out? Why that lover of Haredim, Yair Lapid, of course.
On Thursday, Channel 10 quoted Lapid as saying his political career would be over if he were in the same government as Shas.
In the end, I would bet on the Haredim being out and on Netanyahu going in with Lapid and Bennett. It won't last long. And any attempt to forcefully draft the Haredim will end in disaster. 

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At 1:19 PM, Blogger Shy Guy said...

She a self-confessed better-red-than-fed socialist. Netanyahu is off his rocker!

At 1:25 PM, Blogger Eliana said...

The Haredi parties are talking to Bennett about keeping the Haredi parties in the new coalition. No deal so far, but they have apparently spoken about a deal and they may speak more about it, I guess. Arutz Sheva has reported on this in at least one story.

The Bennett-Haredim negotiations are about army service for the Haredim.

Bennett spoke during the election season about wanting to spend money on job creation for Haredi women and Arabs. He did actually say Haredi women and Arabs, as I recall. His idea seemed to be that they would bring in more taxes as part of the workforce.

He would get this job creation money from non-essential portions of the Defense budget. He also wants the Haredim in the army.

He can only accomplish these things with the Haredim in the government.

Bennett has said that his agenda could do something really amazing (or whatever adjective he used) for Israel and he knows he can't do it without the Haredi parties' cooperation. Teaming up with Lapid against the Haredi parties would get Bennett absolutely nowhere.

So, I think the whole coalition building process is centering around Bennett and the Haredi parties.

We'll see, but I would bet that Bennett and the Haredi parties will be in the government along with Kadima for 63 seats.

Tzipi Livni might join because she would be invisible in an Opposition that has both Lapid and Shelly in it, but I don't think there's much she will be able to drive in the new government with her 6 seats.

The main thing is that I don't see Bennett as having so much loyalty to Lapid that he would give up on all kinds of exciting things that he might be able to bring to fruition from within the government if the Haredim are there with him.

Bennett isn't fashionable but his ideas are good and he could be a solid prospect for a long term political career if he accomplishes his goals.

P.S. Bennett also wants a 4.5 day work week so that most people could have Sundays off from work to go shopping, eat out, and to visit parks with their families. I think this would be very popular in Israel.


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