Conclusions with the Likud: Smotrich and Deri will serve in the Treasury in rotation
Approaching the signing: the chairman of religious Zionism and the chairman of Shas will serve as finance and interior ministers and will alternate between them in 2025. In addition, religious Zionism will receive the constitution committee and the immigration and absorption portfolio.
The coalition negotiations are coming to an end: Likud and religious Zionism reached agreements this morning (Wednesday) according to which Bezalel Smotrich and Aryeh Deri will serve in rotation in the Finance and Interior portfolios. First, Smotrich will serve as finance minister until 2025, then he will switch with Deri and receive the interior portfolio. Religious Zionism will also receive the Ministry of Immigration and Absorption as well as the Constitution Committee.
After the agreements with religious Zionism, whoever will be the ruling party will turn to the resolution of the issues in dispute with Torah Judaism and Shas. Benjamin Netanyahu’s party is considering the possibility of asking the president to extend the mandate because it is possible that by the current date, December 10, the job of forming the government will not be finished. The assessment is If Netanyahu requests another extension, President Yitzhak Herzog will grant his request, as happened in previous cases.
Yesterday the Likud collected signatures to submit the request to replace Knesset Speaker Miki Levy and they wish to submit the request by tonight at the latest. The only problem that is delaying the plan is the fact that Torah Judaism collected signatures for the Likud request, but those signatures have not yet been delivered to the Likud – apparently as part of the disputes in the negotiations And the feeling created in Torah Judaism according to which the Likud shows disdain towards them, both regarding the positions designated for them and regarding their other demands.
Senior officials in the ultra-orthodox party said last night that an agreement will not be signed until the Ministry of Social Equality designated for MK Uri Maklev to serve as a deputy minister in ministerial capacity is handed over to Torah Judaism, and also until their demand to compare the conditions of teachers and educational staff in ultra-Orthodox education to those used in the education system is met.
In the meantime, Likud is preparing to pass a series of laws that will regulate the powers of Itamar Ben Gabir in the Ministry of National Security, even before the swearing in of the government and as part of the coalition agreements. According to one of them, the agreement states, “the relationship between the Police Commissioner and the Minister of National Security will be like the relationship between the Chief of Staff and the Minister of Defense.”
In addition, Likud intends to enact an amendment to the Basic Law: The Government, through a law submitted by MK Moshe Arbel that is supposed to pave the way for Deri to the government. According to the change in the law, only those who have been convicted of an offense for which the punishment includes actual imprisonment will not be able to serve as minister.
According to the law today, those who have been sentenced to prison cannot serve as minister – and thus it may be interpreted that a suspended sentence also blocks Deri’s path. The chairman of Shas, we will recall, was convicted in January of this year of tax offenses after reaching a plea agreement with the prosecutor’s office, and was sentenced to a suspended prison term.