Daily Israel Report

Bayit Yehudi: Close, But No Cigar Yet

Rumor has it that Bayit Yehudi was set to sign a coalition deal soon, but sources in the party say that no deal has yet been signed.
By David Lev
First Publish: 3/5/2013, 9:35 PM

Naftali Bennett
Naftali Bennett
Israel news photo: Flash 90

Despite rumors that have been circulation Tuesday that the Likud/Yisrael Beteinu and Bayit Yehudi were set to sign a coalition deal in the coming hours or days, sources in Bayit Yehudi said that no deals has been signed, and nothing has yet been concluded.

There were no talks between Bayit Yehudi head Naftali Bennett and Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, officials in Bayit Yehudi said.

According to the rumors, Bennett will be offered the position of Finance Minister by Netanyahu. Sources in Bayit Yehudi did not confirm the report, but said that there has not been any coordination between their party and Yesh Atid regarding which party would seek which ministry. Netanyahu may also offer the Finance Ministry to Lapid.

Either way, it appears that Bayit Yehudi is on its way to the government. Speaking Monday, Bennett said that “in the political arena we are moving from the winter to the spring. We have a great deal of good will and we want to help establish a government. We are rolling up our sleeves and are ready to work hard to help the Prime Minister. establish a government that will serve Israel faithfully and for an extended period.”

Speaking at a Yesh Atid faction meeting, party head Yair Lapid discussed the coalition negotiations, but sounded less optimistic than Bennett. “The negotiations are far from over,” Lapid said. “There are a considerable number of issues still outstanding.”