Israel – Likud Beytenu And Yesh Atid Sign Coalition Deal, Excluding Ultra-Orthodox Jews

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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks to Israel's new Parliamentarians in Jerusalem, 05 February 2013. EPA/JIM HOLLANDERIsrael – Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu signed a coalition deal Friday with rival parties to form the next government, a spokesman said, in an agreement that was stalled for weeks due to tough negotiations.

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The new coalition is the first in a decade to exclude ultra-Orthodox Jewish parties. It includes two new rising stars who have vowed to end a system of draft exemptions and welfare subsidies granted to thousands of ultra-Orthodox students.

Noga Katz, a spokeswoman for Netanyahu’s Likud-Yisrael Beitenu faction, said leaders of the Yesh Atid and Jewish Home parties struck the deal Friday afternoon after agreeing to give up last-minute demands to be named deputy prime ministers shortly before the beginning of the Jewish Sabbath. Those demands delayed the deal from being formalized at the last moment the night before.

Netanyahu welcomed the agreement in a statement.

“We will work together in the new government for the sake of Israel’s citizens. We will act to strengthen Israel’s security and to improve the quality of life for the citizens of Israel,” he said.

The next step is for Netanyahu to notify President Shimon Peres on Saturday night. The new Israeli government will be sworn by Monday, two days before President Barack Obama is due to visit Israel.

Talks were stuck for weeks over the division of Cabinet portfolios and reforms in the military draft law.

Although Netanyahu’ Likud-Yisrael Beitenu bloc emerged as the biggest faction in the Jan. 22 parliamentary election with 31 seats, he struggled to form a coalition with the necessary 61-seat majority in the 120-member parliament.

Newcomers Yair Lapid of Yesh Atid and Naftali Bennett of the Jewish Home party proved to be tough negotiators, forcing Netanyahu to ask the president for extra time to build the coalition. If he had not formed a coalition by Saturday, the country could have been forced to hold a new election.

Yesh Atid, which ran on a ticket vowing relief to Israel’s struggling middle class and an end to draft exemptions for the ultra-Orthodox will have the Finance and Education ministries. The Jewish Home, a party linked to the West Bank settler movement, has the Housing and Trade ministries.

Netanyahu’s bloc, meanwhile, will retain control of the powerful defense and interior ministries.

Former Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni, who leads a small dovish party committed to reaching peace with the Palestinians, joined Netanyahu’s coalition last month with promises that she would be his chief peace negotiator with the Palestinians.


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berelw
berelw
10 years ago

nice new fresh gov….hopefully israel has a brighter future ahead….good luck..

Shtarker
Active Member
Shtarker
10 years ago

At last…Israel will be able to emerge from the shadows of the black hats who hate her with such enthusiasm.

jack-l
jack-l
10 years ago

It seems to me that the “black hats” like #4 think that only they keep torah and mitzvos.
i would disagree. There are many shomer torah and mitzvas jews that dont wear a black hat or shtramel. So what do we differentiate ? As a black hatter you might eat only shmura matza for all of pesach ,drink only cholov yisroel, and keep 72 min. after shabbos. That is enough to label a whole segment as apekorsim or even worse?

jack-l
jack-l
10 years ago

reply to# 4
i think you meant to say that most observant jews come from observant homes.whose parents and grandparents were observant.That is probably true though there is a huge baal tshuvah movement adding to these numbers.
However many if not most jews come from the shaares haplaita. ….survivors of the holocaust and these survivors are but a fraction of all types of jews alive before the war. No one group of jews did better than another. It was strickly a numbers game. The lesson we should learn is hitler yemachshemo didnt make a difference between a jew and another jew and neither should we.