The new deal between Jewish Home and the Likud that led to the establishment of Binyamin Netanyahu's new government is a “historic achievement for Religious Zionism,” the director of Jewish Home, Nir Orbach, said Thursday. “Today, there are no winners and losers,” Orbach said. “It is the state that has won and gained great representatives who will do their work faithfully.”
The deal was due to the hard work of party activists, who were dedicated to helping the party, despite the pressures and difficulties, said Orbach. “We would not be where we are today without their help.”
Under the deal with Likud, Jewish Home chairman Naftali Bennett will be named Education Minister, while Uri Ariel will be appointed Agricultural Minister, with responsibility for the government's settlement division, which is largely responsible for construction in Judea and Samaria.
In addition, Ayelet Shaked will be named Justice Minister. In that position, she will be in charge of legally authorizing construction projects in Judea and Samaria, and will chair the government committee that nominates judges. In addition, she will choose the state's candidate for Attorney General.
Orbach said that “G-d willing we and the government will succeed in our holy work of leading the state for the benefit of the Jewish people, the Land of Israel, and the Torah of Israel. We are at the last stages of the formation of the agreement, and we are hoping to insert several other important clauses. When the agreement is finalized, we will present it at a festive party meeting.”
According to sources, Netanyahu and his close aides are licking their wounds from what they consider to have been a “failed” coalition negotiation process, in which the Likud gave up far more than it wanted to in order to form the government. Especially hurtful, the sources said, was the ceding of the National Planning Commission to the Interior Ministry, which Moshe Kahlon's Kulanu party will control. In addition, Netanyahu had hoped to withhold the authority to nominate an Attorney General from Shaked, an effort which also failed.