New details about Bennett-Lapid government

The Finance Committee will be headed by a representative from the right-wing bloc. The law that disperses the Knesset if a budget is not approved will be amended.

Ben Ariel ,

Bennett and Lapid
Bennett and Lapid
Miriam Alster/Flash 90

Yesh Atid chairman Yair Lapid and Yamina chairman Naftali Bennett have reached preliminary agreements ahead of the formation of a unity government, Channel 12 News reported on Thursday.

According to the report, the first agreement is on the issue of the Finance Committee. In order to balance between the designated Finance Minister, Avigdor Liberman, while seeking to appease the haredim, Bennett and Lapid agreed that the committee would be headed by a representative from the right-wing bloc, or at least a right-leaning Knesset member.

In addition, the forthcoming agreement between Bennett and Lapid will stipulate that even if the state budget is not passed, the Knesset will not be dispersed. In order to do so, they will have to pass amendments to the Basic Law of Government, and this will be done only after the coalition is sworn in.

Bennett and Lapid did not reach an agreement on the Education Ministry. Meretz insists on receiving this ministerial portfolio, while Bennett wants to keep it within the right-wing camp.

Earlier on Thursday, Lapid convened a press conference, for the first time since receiving the mandate to form a government from the President.

"If we succeed in forming a government, it will also behave differently towards the opposition. We will not defame, we will not belittle, we will respect them, we will take care of the problems of those who did not vote for us," Lapid said.

"We are trying to create an Israeli alliance of decent people here, who are also patriots," said the chairman of Yesh Atid. "I believe in the good intentions of my future partners - Naftali and Benny [Gantz], Gideon [Sa'a] and Merav [Michaeli], Evet [Liberman] and Nitzan [Horowitz]. They are different people with different opinions, but the fact that someone does not agree with you does not make him an enemy. They all love this country from the bottom of their hearts. They want to build, and repair and create collaborations that we have not seen here for many years."

Lapid described his relationship with Naftali Bennett and said, "What I proposed before receiving the mandate also applies after receiving the mandate. My word is ironclad and this is the only proposal currently on the table. Naftali and I were together in the opposition and coalition. I have never cheated him and he has not cheated me."