Bennett gives up on Foreign Ministry

In response to source saying Yisrael Beytenu's entry will see Bennett as FM, Jewish Home announces it won't change any portfolios.

Ari Yashar,

Naftali Bennett
Naftali Bennett
Yonatan Sindel/Flash 90

In response to speculation of a portfolio shakeup caused by Yisrael Beytenu's anticipated imminent entry into the coalition, Jewish Home on Thursday issued a statement revealing it doesn't intend to change up any of its ministerial posts.

"The Jewish Home party isn't interested in changing portfolios. The ministers are happy with their roles," read the terse statement from Education Minister Naftali Bennett's party.

Political sources on Wednesday night anticipated that Bennett would be given the influential post of Foreign Minister following Yisrael Beytenu's entry, but the statement indicates he is content with his current post.

Currently Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu is serving as Foreign Minister in addition to his role as Prime Minister, with Likud's Tzipi Hotovely in effect running the ministry as Deputy Foreign Minister.

It was predicted that after Bennett went to the Foreign Ministry, current Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked of his party would fill his spot as Education Minister, and Tourism Minister Yariv Levin (Likud) would take her role. However, as noted Jewish Home has ruled out any attempt to upgrade its portfolios.

Given the Jewish Home statement, it would appear that Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon (Likud) will likely be offered the post of Foreign Minister, as Netanyahu has agreed to Yisrael Beytenu head MK Avigdor Liberman's request to be given Ya'alon's job as Defense Minister.

On Wednesday night sources close to Ya'alon said that despite reports he has not been offered the Foreign Ministry yet.

The talk of a government reshuffle comes after Liberman held a press conference on Wednesday laying out his terms for joining Netanyahu’s governing coalition. Shortly thereafter the Prime Minister extended an invitation to Liberman to discuss the prospect.

While the talks have not yet concluded, sources said on Wednesday night that barring any last minute surprises, a coalition agreement could be signed as soon as Thursday.




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