Report: Jewish Home to Demand Foreign Ministry

After Yisrael Beytenu backs out of talks, Jewish Home reportedly weighing demanding the Foreign Ministry ahead of deadline.

Tova Dvorin and Cynthia Blank ,

Jewish Home party leader Naftali Bennett
Jewish Home party leader Naftali Bennett
Tomer Neuberg/Flash 90

Hours before a tight deadline to form a government, Jewish Home has stopped coalition talks to reassess, NRG reports Monday - and may demand more portfolios to force Likud's hand. 

The Foreign Ministry was one of Jewish Home's most prominent demands before talks began, but was dropped after Yisrael Beytenu chairman and current Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman pledged to remain in his post as part of a right-wing government. 

Now, after Liberman backed out of the talks altogether for idealistic or political reasons, Jewish Home chairman Naftali Bennett may demand the portfolio once again, sources told the news outlet. 

Shortly after the announcement was made, Likud both made an offer and a threat to Jewish Home, Likud officials revealed to Arutz Sheva earlier Monday. On the table are the Education, Agriculture, Culture/Sport and Diaspora Ministries - showing, as analysts predicted, that Likud preferred to give Jewish Home quantity over quality in the current talks. 

In addition, the Education Ministry's budget will be significantly increased with hundreds of millions of shekels being allocated to religious Zionist educational institutions and new reforms under the would-be Minister Bennett's auspices. 

Despite touting the uniqueness of the deal, Likud was quick to make a threat should Jewish Home refuse. 

"If Jewish Home refuses this proposal, there is just one alternative to a national Likud government: a left-wing government led by [Labor leader Yitzhak] Herzog, which will not have Religious Zionist representation," Likud warned. 

"A left-wing government that will evacuate settlements, compromise on the status of Jerusalem, hurt the Religious Zionist public, and bend to international pressure."