Thursday, May 7, 2015

Final Deal Signed Between Likud and Jewish Home

Keywords: Education Ministry, Diaspora Affairs, Disabilities, Distance Learning/Transportation in YS"A

Final Deal Signed Between Likud and Jewish Home
After 'sleepless' night of talks between Likud and Jewish Home, a final deal has been signed.
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By Orly Harari, Cynthia Blank
First Publish: 5/7/2015, 10:48 AM

Announcement of Coalition Deal

After all-night talks on the remaining details, Likud and Jewish Home signed a final coalition deal on Thursday morning.

Late Wednesday night, hours before the deadline to form a government, the two parties announced a deal struck "in principle," allowing Jewish Home to enter the coalition and Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to serve a fourth term as premier.

Netanyahu then notified President Reuven Rivlin that he had succeeded in the task bestowed upon him of forming a new government.

According to the final deal fleshed out Thursday, Jewish Home chairman Naftali Bennett will be appointed both Education Minister and Diaspora Affairs Minister, as well as a member of Netanyahu's security cabinet.

MK Ayelet Shaked (Jewish Home) will be appointed Justice Minister and head the Knesset Constitution, Law, and Justice Committee. She too will serve as a member of Netanyahu's security cabinet.

MK Uri Ariel (Jewish Home) will become Agriculture Minister and be given responsibility over the World Zionist Organization Settlement Division, effectively the legal liaison between the government and Jewish residents of Judea and Samaria.

A Jewish Home MK will also be appointed Deputy Defense Minister with responsibility for the Civil Administration.

According to the coalition deal, the education budget will be increased by NIS 630 million, and a billion shekels will be allocated to increasing the salaries of IDF soldiers in their third year of military service. An increased budget has also been promised to Ariel University in Samaria.

Legislation-wise, Likud has promised to promote the Law of Non-Profit Associations, allow people with disabilities easier access to educational institutions, and increase security for transportation in Judea and Samaria.

"After a sleepless night, we've completed the coalition agreement with Likud to pave the way for a new government. We're going to work," Shaked said, after signing the finalized deal.

On Sunday, Netanyahu will distribute ministerial portfolios among Likud members. The prime minister will keep the foreign affairs portfolio for himself.

Likud will have 12 ministers. Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon and Transportation Minister Yisrael Katz are sure to stay on in their current roles, as may National Infrastructure, Energy and Water Minister Silvan Shalom.

Yuval Steinitz, who was originally slated to receive the justice portfolio, will likely receive the public security portfolio instead.

Other Likud ministerial candidates include Ofir Akunis, Gila Gamliel, Tzipi Hotovely, Miri Regev, Haim Katz, Tzachi Hanegbi, Ayoob Kara, Danny Danon and Benny Begin.

The deal with Habayit Hayehudi was reached after a dramatic few days during which Bennett increased his demands in the wake of Yisrael Beytenu leader Avigdor Lieberman's announcement that his party would not join the coalition. According to the deal reached on Wednesday, Bennett will receive the education and diaspora affairs portfolios, Habayit Hayehudi No. 2 Uri Ariel will receive the agriculture portfolio and control of the WZO Settlement Division, and Habayit Hayehudi No. 3 Ayelet Shaked will receive the justice portfolio.

The election results were proof that the majority of the Israeli public sees the world with a rightist outlook -- on Judaism, on the Land of Israel, on a united Jerusalem, on the ingathering of the exiles. This Zionist outlook represents a set of cores values that has been instilled deep within us for thousands of years. The return to Zion in our days is a part of a continuum that spans generations, and not some startup that began at the end of the 19th century. Theodore Herzl's school of Zionism was based on an ancient platform. The Israeli Left, which has sought to provide a renewed Israeli identity to replace established Judaism, failed in the last election. Despite how it may have appeared, this election was about identity, not video clips on social networks.

A close look at the election results will tell you that 71 Knesset seats should have gone to various shades of the Right: the 67 seats that were won, and four others that were lost due to not meeting the electoral threshold.

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