Naftali Bennett, head of the Bayit Yehudi party, is silhouetted as he talks to students at a pre-army training course as he campaigns in the Shapira Center near the southern city of Ashkelon.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Likud MK Ze'ev Elkin criticized Bayit Yehudi chief Naftali Bennett on Monday after the economy minister threatened to end negotiations if Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu grants control of the Religious Affairs Ministry to the Sephardi ultra-Orthodox movement Shas.
Speaking to Army Radio, Elkin said that the ruling party will not be cowed by threats.
"Every party received offers that answer to their needs, including Bayit Yehudi," said Elkin, who also serves as party whip.
Earlier on Monday, Bennett posted an item on his Twitter feed threatening to bolt the coalition negotiations and take his faction into the opposition unless he was promised the Religious Affairs Ministry.
"Unilaterally taking the Religious Affairs Ministry away from the religious Zionist movement and handing it to Shas will spell the end of negotiations with Bayit Yehudi," Bennett tweeted.
It has been reported that Netanyahu wants to hand the religious affairs portfolio to Shas chief Aryeh Deri as compensation for Deri's relinquishing the Interior Ministry to Moshe Kahlon.
"I don't believe that negotiating through threats and other means is appropriate," Elkin told Army Radio. "Some of the parties who are our natural partners in the nationalist camp need to realize that in order to form a coalition ruled by our camp, there needs to be a limit to the incessant demands."
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