Bennett Demands: Justice Ministry or Opposition

As coalition talks go down to the wire ahead of a Wednesday deadline, Jewish Home chairman Naftali Bennett delivered an ultimatum to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on Tuesday, demanding that MK Ayelet Shaked of his party be named justice minister.

If the demand is not met, Bennett threatened to go to the Opposition, leaving Likud short of the required 61 MKs needed to create a coalition majority.

Bennett made an additional demand according to Channel 2, asking that Shaked be inducted as justice minister as soon as next week out of an apparent concern that the law may be changed to increase the number of ministers beyond the current limitation of 18.

Likud had already reportedly agreed to Shaked being named as culture and sport minister as part of a proposed coalition agreement, but Jewish Home is apparently trying to press for additional portfolios.

Sources close to Netanyahu voiced their opposition to Bennett's last minute demands.

"We won't give the justice portfolio," they said. "The right-wing will never forgive Bennett if he knocks over a right-wing government due to a lust for portfolios."

The remark refers to appraisals that Netanyahu may form a unity government with the leftist Zionist Union party comprised of Labor and Hatnua if Jewish Home does not sign a coalition deal with it.


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