Jewish Home Minister Uri Ariel admitted Wednesday in an exclusive Arutz Sheva interview that there is a “mini-crisis” between his party leader, Economics Minister Naftali Bennett, and Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, over Bennett's attacks on leaks from the prime minister's bureau, regarding a plan to leave Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria under Arab sovereignty.
Ariel's definition of the situation notwithstanding, his actions indicate that the crisis is not a minor one at all. Ariel arrived Wednesday morning at a conference of religious Zionist administrators at the Dead Sea – but asked to be allowed to deliver a shortened version of the speech he was to deliver, in order to enable him to go back to Jerusalem and take care of the current smash-up between his party and Likud.
Minister of Transport Yisrael Katz meanwhile called on Bennett to end the confrontation between himself and Netanyahu by apologizing for his criticism of the prime minister.
"Naftali, my friend,” he wrote on Facebook, “it is precisely because of our similar views that I call on you to apologize to the prime minister. The argument over where Jews will live in a future agreement is a pointless one.”
Katz explained that the chances of an agreement with the PA are nonexistent, and it is therefore preferable to maintain the Coalition. It was only yesterday, he noted, that PA chief Mahmoud Abbas reiterated his position: “he is willing to accept an agreement that will include 'a just solution' for 5 million Palestinian refugees (implementation of the 'right of return') and Jerusalem, including the Old City, is to be the Palestinian capital. With positions such as these there is no chance for an agreement,” he summed up, “so why split forces?”