Likud negotiator says Bayit Yehudi central to any coalition

"Bayit Yehudi is a central partner in this coalition and there's no reason that this should not go forward," says MK Yariv Levin, a member of the Likud negotiation team.

March 27, 2015 09:19
1 minute read.
Bayit Yehudi holds memorial faction meeting for Uri Orbach.

Bayit Yehudi holds memorial faction meeting for Uri Orbach.. (photo credit: GUR DOTAN)


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MK Yariv Levin, a member of the Likud's negotiating team, said Friday that rumors that Bayit Yehudi is not wanted in the next coalition are unfounded.

Speaking to Israel Radio, Levin said that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is aiming to form a coalition of the nationalist parties which would include Bayit Yehudi. 

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"Bayit Yehudi is a central partner in this coalition and there's no reason that this should not go forward," Levin said.

In contrast, incoming Bayit Yehudi MK Yinon Magal said that that Netanyahu has not offered Bayit Yehudi leader Naftali Bennett the position of education minister, nor any other ministerial role. "Bennett has already met twice with the prime minister and they haven't offered him anything," he said.

Magal added that he believes Netanyahu is looking to form a unity government with the Zionist Union party, pegging that as the reason why coalition talks with Bayit Yehudi are dragging on.

On Thursday, Netanyahu met with Bennett at the Prime Minister’s Office, and the Likud’s negotiating team held marathon talks at the Knesset with representatives from Bayit Yehudi, Shas, Yisrael Beytenu and United Torah Judaism. No significant progress was made in any of the meetings and Likud officials said portfolios were purposely not discussed.

The prime minister received a four-week mandate from President Reuven Rivlin Wednesday night to form a government. If he fails to build a coalition by April 22, he could ask Rivlin for two more weeks, but the president could insist that a government be formed with the Zionist Union during a second round of coalition talks.

Gil Hoffman contributed to this report.

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