Jewish Home Joins Gov't; Hershkovitz - Science & Tech Minister

Rabbi Prof. Hershkovitz will be Israel's Minister of Science and Technology, according to the freshly-signed Likud-Jewish Home coalition agreement.

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Hillel Fendel,

The Likud and the Jewish Home signed a coalition agreement on Wednesday, granting the latter the Science and Technology Ministry. Party leader Rabbi Prof. Daniel Hershkovitz will also be responsible for National Service and the treatment of the Gush Katif expellees.

According to the agreement, the Culture, Science and Sport Ministry will be divided into two, with a Likud representative taking over Culture and Sport.

Other clauses of the agreement between the Likud and the religious-Zionist party that has become known as the new National Religious Party include:

  • The Likud will help in advancing the Norwegian Law for small parties, stipulating that one Cabinet minister from each small party may resign from the Knesset if he wishes, but may return to the Knesset at a later date if he resigns or is fired from the government. In the Jewish Home’s case, this will enable respected former MK Nissan Slomiansky to re-enter the Knesset for as long as Hershkovitz remains in the government.
  • Soon-to-be Minister Hershkovitz will also be a member of the Cabinet’s ministerial committee on legislation, as well as of the socio-economic mini-cabinet, and will chair the ministerial committee on the treatment of the Gush Katif expellees.
  • Hershkovitz’s Science and Technology Ministry will also oversee the National Service Administration, which deals mainly with religious post-high school girls who teach, work in hospitals, and perform other volunteer activities over the course of a year.
  • A Jewish Home MK - most likely Zevulun Orlev - will serve as Chairman of the Knesset Education Committee for a third of the government term, as determined by the relevant Knesset elements. A party MK will serve for the same duration as Chairman of the Knesset Children’s Welfare Committee.
  • A party MK will also serve on the Knesset Finance Committee, at the expense of the Likud. The party will also have representation on the Knesset Education and Law Committees.
  • The Likud and Jewish Home commit to act jointly in the government and Knesset to advance the government’s goals. The government will work to reach broad agreement on issues of religion and state, regarding which the status quo will remain.
  • A forum for dialogue will be established between the heads of Shas and the Jewish Home, together with an agreed-upon representative of the Prime Minister, regarding the provision of religious services.