Haredim favor Zohar as head of coalition

The race is significant, as whoever wins will enter a high profile yet demanding post.

By GIL STERN STERN HOFFMAN
January 6, 2016 02:22
1 minute read.
Miki Zohar

Miki Zohar.. (photo credit: COURTESY OF MIKI ZOHAR)

 
X

Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user uxperience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew, Ivrit
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Repor
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later Don't show it again

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu intends to select a new coalition chairman in the upcoming days from among freshman Likud MKs David Bitan, Yoav Kisch and Miki Zohar, sources close to the prime minister said Tuesday.

The race is significant, as whoever wins will enter a high profile yet demanding post.

Be the first to know - Join our Facebook page.


Success in the job could help the new coalition chairman win one of the few available slots on the Likud list for the next Knesset.

In a coalition of 61, the post is especially sensitive. The coalition has been narrowly defeated on six votes, including a no-confidence motion on Monday, while current coalition chairman Tzachi Hanegbi was abroad.

Hanegbi is expected to be promoted to the cabinet in upcoming days. He is likely to receive the Tourism portfolio that will be vacated by Yariv Levin, who is expected to be appointed as economy minister, a position currently occupied by Netanyahu.

Knesset members who have worked with the three candidates since they entered the parliament said they each have their strengths and weaknesses.

Bitan has run the Knesset House Committee, which has been a stepping stone to the coalition chairmanship in the past. But MKs complained that he argues too much and is “not the kind of compromiser a coalition chairman needs to be.”



MKs said Kisch, a former fighter pilot, is a natural leader and the most charismatic. But he angered haredi (ultra-Orthodox) MKs by opposing the cancellation of the haredi draft bill.

Zohar has worked well with Finance Committee chairman Moshe Gafni (United Torah Judaism) as the coalition’s coordinator on the committee, and haredi MKs said they hope he wins the job. But some MKs in Kulanu believe Zohar goes too far in pandering to the haredim.

As the deputy head of the coalition, Zohar filled in for Hanegbi on Monday at the start of the Likud faction meeting. In his short introduction, Zohar, who keeps Shabbat but does not wear a kippa, repeatedly used the phrase “with God’s help.”

“We are giving a fight,” Zohar’s spokeswoman said.

“We really want the job.”

Related Content

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at a weekly cabinet meeting on March 11, 2018
July 18, 2018
Netanyahu flip-flops on homosexual surrogacy, as bill passes

By JONATHAN WEBER ROSEN