The coalition may not be able to pass a law that will enable Shas chairman MK Aryeh Deri to reenter the government if Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu did not offer a significant ministerial position to either of the Likud MKs David (Dudi) Amsalem or MK Danny Danon, senior members of the Likud confirmed on Monday.
"It cannot be that, in order to appease the Shas chairman, Netanyahu is going to great lengths, but for senior Likud members he is not raising a finger," the Likud member said.
Government puts forward bill to reinstate Arye Deri as minister
The coalition officially put forward the so-called "Deri Law" on Monday. The law, which is an amendment to the Basic Law: The Government, says that the High Court does not have the authority to intervene in the appointments of government ministers. It was proposed by all of the coalition members who are not ministers, except for Deri himself.
The law's purpose is to enable Netanyahu to reinstate Deri after the High Court ruled last month that Deri's appointments as health an interior minister suffered from "extreme unreasonableness" due to the Shas chairman's recurring white-collar criminal convictions, the last of which came as part of a plea bargain in January 2022. The court also ruled that Deri earned his lenient plea bargain by fooling the court that he would not reenter politics.
The coalition reportedly will attempt to expedite the law and hold a preliminary vote already next week. However, Amsalem, who demanded during the coalition negotiations to become either Justice Minister or Knesset Speaker but received neither, and Danon, who also demanded a ministerial position, warned that they and other unhappy Likud MKs could torpedo the Deri Law if at least one of them was not appeased.
Netanyahu reportedly offered Amsalem to become regional cooperation Minister, Ministerial Liaison to the Knesset and a minister within the Justice Ministry. However, Justice Minister Yariv Levin refused to give Amsalem authority within his ministry, and the negotiations hit a dead end.
Danon was also offered the Regional Cooperation Ministry but said that unless the ministry received significant responsibilities and funding, he preferred to serve as a regular Knesset member.