Jewish Home and Likud Coalition Negotiations Begin

Likud Faction chair Ze'ev Elkin expresses hope that despite differences of opinion, a coalition of natural partners be built swiftly.

Shlomo Pitrikovsky, Cynthia Blank ,

Likud-Jewish Home meeting
Likud-Jewish Home meeting
Arutz Sheva

Chairman of the Likud Faction, MK Ze'ev Elkin, addressed on Thursday afternoon media reports about the status of coalition negotiations. 

Speaking at the beginning of a meeting between Likud and Jewish Home representatives, Elkin stressed that Likud has kept all of its promises and is working toward forming a government as quickly as possible. 

"We are the first official meeting of coalition negotiations which began today. We have conducted ourselves just as the Prime Minister promised: We promised our first telephone call would be to Miriam Peretz and our second call to [Jewish Home Chairman] Naftali Bennett, and so it was. We promised during the campaign that [Moshe] Kahlon would be finance minister, and we reiterated this immediately after elections," Elkin stated. 

"We are opening the negotiations naturally with natural partners. Israel needs a stable government as soon as possible. We will conduct negotiations as quickly as possible," he added. 

"Obviously, there will be differences of opinion, but in this room we will find good solutions." 

Referring to Kahlon and the news that Kulanu had cancelled its negotiation meeting because of promises made by Netanyahu to United Torah Judaism, Elkin expressed his hope the disgruntled party would return soon to the drawing table. 

"We are sorry for the cancellation this morning. As I said, it's natural for there to be conflicting demands and requirements. The place to finds solutions is in this room; I don't know anything else. Therefore, I hope that sooner than later we will return to negotiations."

Elkin's reassurances also come after Bennett alleged Thursday morning that Netanyahu would choose the Zionist Union over Jewish Home. 

"Unfortunately, it seems the Prime Minister plans to bring in Buji/Tzipi, and therefore skip over us," Bennett wrote on Facebook, before adding, "from the opposition, we will be able serve the people of Israel in a way no less effective than [if we were part of] the government."