Jewish Home MK: Coalition Deal is Good for Us

Education Minister perhaps even more important than Foreign Minister, claims MK Yinon Magal as coalition coalesces.

Moshe Cohen,

Yinon Magal
Yinon Magal
Flash 90 / Moshe Shai

Jewish Home chairman Naftali Bennett is set to become Education Minister, a position he is prepared to accept after Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu went back on his personal commitment to Bennett to give him either the Defense or Foreign Ministry portfolios.

No matter, said Jewish Home MK Yinon Magal; the deal Bennett has apparently closed with Netanyahu is a good one for the party, and for Israel.

According to sources, Bennett will be given the Education portfolio, while two other Jewish Home MKs – Uri Ariel and Ayelet Shaked – will be named Agriculture Minister and Culture and Sport Minister respectively. In addition, Rabbi Eli Ben-Dahan will remain in his current position as Deputy Religious Affairs Minister, and Jewish Home will be given chairmanship of the Knesset Justice and Law Committee. The Agriculture Ministry will also be assigned the government's Settlement Agency, which covers housing plans and permits in Judea and Samaria.

Magal said that he could not “sign off” on the committee chairmanship at this point, as Bennett and Netanyahu were still negotiating. However, he said, “it appears that this is what will happen.”

Speaking to Arutz Sheva, Magal said that the Education Ministry was something Jewish Home had considered from the beginning. “Over the course of coalition negotiations, Naftali Bennett examined the Education portfolio and came to appreciate it – to the extent that he has decided that this was the portfolio he personally wanted."

To those who say that the Education Ministry isn't the Foreign Ministry, which is considered a much more prestigious portfolio, Magal said that the situation should be looked at from another point of view given the party's poor showing in elections.

“We only got eight seats in the Knesset, but we are getting three ministries, one deputy ministry, and a committee. I see this as a great accomplishment for Jewish Home. All three of the ministries have a great deal of importance, and a great deal of value for the country. We can do a great deal for Israeli society in these ministries.

Improving society is what Jewish Home is in the government to do,” said Magal. “Education may not be the highest-profile ministry, but there is no question that it is one of the most important."

It's time to finish these negotiations,” said Magal. “The people have spoken, and we must build a good coalition in which everyone will contribute and benefit. I see the deal that is being offered as a good one. Jewish Home can be proud of its accomplishments, and I am sure we will see positive results from our membership in this government.”




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