Mar 19, 2015

Thoughts on coalition partners

Coalition negotiations is exactly what the problem with our current electoral system is. Each small party knows that the prime ministerial candidate needs it for a coalition, and therefore squeezes the most it can out of the Prime Minister, giving it and its narrow interests disproportionate power.

Reporters are saying that the parties are already laying down their demands for joining the coalition.

The Haredi parties are clear on what they want - appointments such as Ministry of Interior for Deri, plus Ministry of Religious Affairs for another Shas MK. Litzman would go back to the Health Ministry and Gafni back to directing the Finance Committee of the Knesset. That is besides for their demands to reverse some of the legislation enacted by the previous government (e.g. child subsidies, criminal sanctions for draft avoidance, among others).

Kahlon will be getting the Finance Ministry and something else. Lieberman will make his demands - he was already told he is not getting the Defense Ministry he demanded before the elections.

The Likud has to give its own MKs portfolios as well. As the biggest party, they should get a bulk of the positions, and the most important ones, keeping the Defense for Moshe Boogie Yaalon, The others are as of yet unknown.

Habayit Hayehudi seems to be its demands. They've stated things they wont be getting - they demanded Defense, Internal Security and some others, during the election season, but it seems they won't be getting those. They might get Economics and Trade again, and maybe Communications. They want a more senior portfolio - Justice or Foreign Ministry - as well. Also, supposedly the Haredi parties are putting a veto on Rav Eli Ben Dahan going back as a Deputy Minister in the Religious Affairs Ministry (which would be under a Haredi Religious Affairs Minister from Shas) because they don't like what he did in the last government.

I am not a supporter of Habayit Hayehudi, but I do believe in loyalty. The Haredi parties did not openly support Netanyahu in this election season. Deri only made a statement about supporting Netanyahu in the last week, and even that was not 100% clear. On the other hand, Bennet supported Netanyahu all the way, from the beginning. Bennet also gave much moral support to Netanyahu and the Likud, both in travelling with them to the USA for the speech in front of Congress and AIPAC, as well as going on interviews on world media and statingexplicitly that he supports Netanyahu and the Likud.

And that is besides for the Likud "taking" 4-6 of Habayit Hayehudi mandates in the last 2 or 3 days, while Bennet practically did not campaign against the Likud the entire electoral season.

In my opinion, only based on loyalty and repaying Habayit Hayehudi for their support, they should be considered a senior partner, the way Netanyahu said prior to the elections he would treat them. They should be offered a senior portfolio, I dont know which, but something senior, as well as priority over Shas and UTJ  in disputed positions - such as the Religious Affairs Ministry (even if just as a Deputy Minister).

The Haredi parties deserve their fair amount of positions as well, but they should not be considered as senior as Habayit Hayehudi, just by virtue of loyalty. And that does not even take into account that Habayit Hayehudi is slightly bigger than each of the other parties.

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  1. Here's where the Charedi parties know what they're doing. They don't give in to the "Nationalist Block" - they have learned from hard experience that there is no "future consideration," that you have to hold onto your own vision because no one else will preserve it for you. Sometimes they come off nasty, but they're never fryers.

  2. I hope that Bennett doesn't hold his breath waiting for Netanyahu to show "loyalty."

  3. Netanyahu doesn't reward loyalty. He rewards those who will help in the next election.
    This is sad, we're going to reverse anything positive the last government pushed through. The spoiled brats will get their extra piece of pie in the end.


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