Minister Ariel: Bennett-Bibi 'Crisis' Behind Us

Housing Minister Uri Ariel praised Economics Minister Naftali Bennett for defusing the incipient coalition crisis

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David Lev,

Uri Ariel
Uri Ariel
Yoni Kempinski

Housing Minister Uri Ariel on Thursday said that Economics Minister Naftali Bennett acted properly in saying that he was sorry if Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu was hurt by anything he had said regarding the Prime Minister's statements on the possibility of Jews remaining in their homes in Judea and Samaria under Palestinian rule.

“It was proper for him to speak out against the idea. I see no problem with any individual expressing their feelings,” said Ariel. “I also see no problem in a person asking for an apology if they feel hurt. Either way, it is good that this has been resolved,” he said. “We have a lot of work before us.”

The entire incident was blown out of proportion, said Ariel. “There are many strange things in politics, and this is one of them. Someone in the Prime Minister's Office decided that Bennett had presented Netanyahu with some kind of ultimatum, but he in no way meant that Jewish Home had 'alternatives' and that the Labor Party should become part of the government.”

Ariel predicted that the current government would function for its full term, through 2018. “This government has at least two or three years left in it. We are not on the eve of new elections, or a coalition crisis,” he said.

Ariel said that Jewish Home, and the rest of the government, was ready to deal with whatever U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry threw at Israel. “If Kerry will present a plan, I believe the Prime Minister will express his opinion, provide critical comments, and the negotiations will continue,” he said.