In recent days, talk of the Zionist Union entering Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's government has increased – but even if it does, Netanyahu told Jewish Home chairman Naftali Bennett, that entrance would not be at the expense of the latter's party.
Over the weekend, several reports said that the expansion of the government was imminent. With the budget passed and several hot-button issues taken care of – such as the changes to the draft law demanded by haredi parties – there was no reason for Yitzhak Herzog to stay out of the coalition – and according to political commentators, Netanyahu is very anxious for Herzog to join and become his Foreign Minister.
Several Zionist Union MKs have said that they are in favor of joining the government as well – but would only do so if “fundamental changes” are made to the government's basic principles, and to the makeup of its partners. It is on that background, analysts said, that Netanyahu affirmed his commitment to keeping his original partners intact.
According to some reports, Netanyahu had already promised Herzog that he would fire Bennett and give the post of Education Minister to one of Herzog's MKs, along with the position of Foreign Minister to Herzog himself. Netanyahu is said to be especially keen on recruiting Herzog for that position, as the Prime Minister believes that Herzog will be readily accepted by the international community, thus making his job easier, the sources said.