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Wednesday, March 13, 2013

'All hell has broken loose'

Bayit Yehudi (Jewish Home) party leader Naftali Bennett has become an errand boy between Prime Minister Netanyahu and Yesh Atid leader Yair Lapid in what one Bayit Yehudi insider is calling 'a game of chicken gone wrong' (Hat Tip: Eliana).
Bayit Yehudi chairman Naftali Bennett is on his way to meet Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu for the second time Wednesday, after he met with Yesh Atid chairman Yair Lapid in Lapid's Tel Aviv home.
Bennett is the interlocutor in a crisis between Netanyahu and Lapid that threatens to derail the coalition talks, just as they appear to be near conclusion.
"Hell is breaking loose," a knowledgeable Bayit Yehudi source told Arutz Sheva Wednesday. "Lapid thinks Bibi will fold, but Bibi won't. It's a game of chicken gone wrong."
The main points of contention are Yesh Atid's demand to receive the Education Ministry and Knesset Finance Committee, as well as the roles of MKs Amir Peretz (Tzipi Livni's party) and Shaul Mofaz (Kadima). Lapid wants Mofaz in the government, while Netanyahu does not. He also wants Netanyahu to reopen his agreement with Tzipi Livni and leave Peretz out of the government, while Netanyahu does not want to do this.
One cannot help but wonder at what point Naftali Bennett will realize that his and his party's interests lie with Netanyahu and not with Lapid. In the campaign, they promised to be a Right anchor in a Netanyahu government. Bennett's moment of truth appears to be here.

By the way, no surprise that Netanyahu doesn't want Mofaz. Some of you may recall that Mofaz brought Kadima into Netanyahu's government in May of last year (leading to the cancellation of early elections) and removed them in July of last year. 

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