Moshe Kahlon and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu [File].
(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met Tuesday evening with Kulanu leader Moshe Kahlon, their first meeting in two years. Netanyahu told Kahlon he would keep his promise to appoint him finance minister and also give Kulanu other socioeconomic portfolios.
"Your success is everyone's success," Netanyahu reportedly told Kahlon in the meeting.
Netanyahu met earlier Tuesday with Yisrael Beytenu leader Avigdor Liberman and told him he would not appoint the leader of a party with six seats minister of defense. Liberman said on Army Radio that portfolios should be distributed based on skills, not number of mandates. Liberman said he had the skills necessary to be defense minister.
The prime minister met Monday with Bayit Yehudi leader Naftali Bennett and tried to persuade him to accept the Education portfolio that his religious-Zionist constituents care about. But Bennett wants to be defense minister or foreign minister.
Likud MKs Ze'ev Elkin and Yariv Levin met with Shas' negotiating team Tuesday morning. Shas is seeking the Interior and Religious Affairs porfolios for party leader Arye Deri and deputy minister posts in the Finance, Education, and Religious Affairs ministries for MKs Yitzhak Cohen, Meshulam Nahari and Ya'acov Margi.
Likud officials have also met with the leaders of United Torah Judaism, who want the Knesset Finance Committee chairmanship for MK Moshe Gafni and want MK Ya'acov Litzman appointed deputy health minister with no minister above him.
Former interior minister Gideon Sa'ar said in a closed conversation revealed by Army Radio that he still thinks a national unity government with the Zionist Union is a possibility.