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Bibi: ‘Do Whatever is Necessary’ to Bring Bayit Yehudi

Netanyahu has reportedly told his staff to do ‘whatever is necessary’ to get the Bayit Yehudi party to join his coalition.
By Maayana Miskin
First Publish: 2/22/2013, 8:52 AM

Naftali Bennett of Jewish Home
Naftali Bennett of Jewish Home
Flash90

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu is eager to end tensions between his Likud Beytenu party and the Bayit Yehudi (Jewish Home) faction, Yisrael Hayom reports.

Netanyahu reportedly told his negotiating team to “do whatever is necessary” to bring the Jewish Home into the coalition.

Likud was reportedly upset by the Jewish Home party’s agreement with Yesh Atid early in the coalition talks process, while the Jewish Home was insulted by a Likud coalition offer that avoided mention of basic issues such as the budget and included an ultimatum. Many in the party were also concerned by Likud’s recent agreement with Hatnua.

Likud sources have reportedly expressed hope that they can turn a new page, and start serious talks with the Jewish Home that include discussions of the new government’s guiding principles.

Jewish Home head Naftali Bennett met Thursday with Yair Lapid of Yesh Atid and Shaul Mofaz of Kadima in his home in Raanana. The three discussed their views on one of the major issues facing the next government: the subject of hareidi-religious army service.

According to one analysis, Bennett is likely to ask for the Finance Ministry, while Lapid will ask for the Foreign Ministry and Mofaz will seek the Defense Ministry.

A poll conducted by the Panels Institute for the Knesset Channel found that if elections were held again in the near future both Bayit Yehudi and Yesh Atid would benefit. Yesh Atid would come out the winner with 30 seats to 22 for Likud Beytenu, while Bayit Yehudi would grow from 12 seats to 15.