Ayelet Shaked, Naftali Bennett
Ayelet Shaked, Naftali Bennett Flash 90

A day after Jewish Home chairman Naftali Bennett announced to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu that he now wants to be Education Minister, Jewish Home faction chairwoman Ayelet Shaked sat down with Arutz Sheva to discuss the decision. 

"From the beginning of coalition negotiations Naftali Bennett wanted the defense portfolio, and that was after Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's commitment," Shaked said, referring to the prime minister's broken pre-election pledge to grant Bennett the defense ministry.

Shaked stressed the importance the Education Ministry plays in Israeli society. 

"In the last two weeks, Bennett met with former education ministers, CEOs and educators, and decided that after the defense portfolio, the education portfolio is the most important," she added. 

Bennett has in the past few weeks been angling for the foreign affairs portfolio, with the education portfolio only being requested Saturday night, but Shaked deflected questions that this was just a negotiation tactic. 

"It's true that [education] is not of the top three portfolios, but I'm sure that after Bennett will serve in the role, the education portfolio will become one of the three senior portfolios in the government," Shaked argued. 

By giving up his demand for the foreign affairs portfolio, Bennett all but assures the establishment of a national right-wing government, in which his party will receive three ministerial posts - education, agriculture, and culture and sport. 

Jewish Home is also predicted to receive a deputy minister and the leadership of the Knesset's Constitutional Committee. 

"The portfolios have not yet been decided, but the culture portfolio is very, very important," Shaked said of the position she is expected to receive. "Just yesterday, there was a play in Haifa that encouraged terrorists. Jewish Home understands the importance of this portfolio."

"Also the Constitutional Committee affects everything related to the the legal system, and is more important, in my mind, than the Finance Committee," Shaked added. 

As for the dispute between Shas and Jewish Home over the religious affairs portfolio, Shaked emphasized that "we cannot allow Shas to receive the religious affairs portfolio. It with either be managed jointly [between us and them] or by Likud."

Upon being asked if Netanyahu had bested Jewish Home during the coalition negotiations, Shaked claimed the problem started long before that. 

"I think that once we received only eight seats, our options narrowed. The problem began when the Prime Minister was able to convince our voters to vote Likud and not Jewish Home."

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