Smotrich:
'Without education, justice portfolios, there is no government'

National Union chairman: 'Without me there's no coalition. I am not returning to a government in which we are hanged in the Supreme Court.'

Hezki Baruch,

Smotrich
Smotrich
Esty Davidov/TPS

MK Bezalel Smotrich, chairman of the National Union and number two on the United Right list, sent a clear message to Netanyahu ahead of the continuation of coalition talks.

"Without the education and justice portfolios for the United Right, there will be no government," Smotrich said in an interview with Radio 103FM.

"Netanyahu is a serious man, he will not go to elections," Smotrich assessed. "It is irrelevant if Netanyahu does not want me as justice minister, because without me there is no coalition. I am not returning to a government in which we are hanged in the Supreme Court."

Yesterday, Jewish Home Chairman Rabbi Rafi Peretz emphasized to Arutz Sheva that United Right was steadfast in its demand to receive both the education and justice portfolios.

"We will fight for these portfolios," he said. "I think we deserve them, we're not asking for a favor. It is unthinkable that everyone will continue to receive what they had previously, and only we, who traditionally receive the education portfolio and who had the justice portfolio in the last Knesset [won't receive it]. It's unthinkable that these portfolios will be taken [away from us]. We have six Knesset members. I, G-d willing, will be Education Minister, and my good friend Bezalel [Smotrich] will be Justice Minister."

Rabbi Peretz also rejected reports that Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu does not intend to appoint Smotrich as Justice Minister.

"I see it as a spin," he said. "I don't know where it came from but that spin is inappropriate considering we haven't started negotiations. Nothing has been decided for anyone, including us. First of all they have to listen to our demands, we can talk, it's negotiations, we think about things, but our stance is very clear and it's not up for debate: We came to change things in the State of Israel. Both regarding education and regarding justice. We have what to say and I think it'll be a huge blessing for the State of Israel."

"In education, we will deepen the Israeli and Jewish identities in every one of Israel's precious children, and in the Justice Ministry, we will set clear boundaries for the Supreme Court, for where justice is given, and for the Legislative Authority."




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