Members of the Jewish Home party gathered on Monday night for an emergency faction meeting in the Knesset, following the announcement of the coalition agreement between Likud and Shas.
Officials in the party said that Jewish Home is outraged over the fact that Shas was given the Religious Affairs Ministry as well as control of the rabbinical courts.
As such, said the officials, Jewish Home chairman Naftali Bennett would demand that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu give the party another senior ministerial portfolio such as Defense, Foreign Affairs or Justice, to “compensate” for taking the Ministry of Religious Affairs from the Religious Zionists.
Earlier Monday, shortly after announcing the deal with Shas, Likud both made an offer and a threat to Jewish Home.
On the table are the Education, Agriculture, Culture/Sport and Diaspora Ministries – showing, as analysts predicted, that Likud preferred to give Jewish Home quantity over quality in the current talks.
In addition, the Education Ministry's budget will be significantly increased with hundreds of millions of shekels being allocated to religious Zionist educational institutions and new reforms under the would-be Minister Bennett's auspices.
Despite touting the uniqueness of the deal, Likud was quick to make a threat should Jewish Home refuse.
"If Jewish Home refuses this proposal, there is just one alternative to a national Likud government: a left-wing government led by [Labor leader Yitzhak] Herzog, which will not have Religious Zionist representation," Likud warned.
The NRG news website estimated earlier Monday that Jewish Home would indeed demand the Foreign Ministry, which is presumably available again now that Yisrael Beytenu chairman has chosen not to be part of the coalition.