Rabbi Zalman Melamed
Rabbi Zalman Melamed Arutz Sheva

Rabbi Zalman Melamed, the head of the Beit El Yeshiva and a leading religious Zionist rabbi, issued a message of support Wednesday for Jewish Home Chairman Naftali Bennett, who is currently engaged in a last-minute game of political “chicken” with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, in a demand to give his party control of the Justice Ministry.

Rabbi Melamed told Arutz Sheva that the Jewish Home must not give up its demand for the Justice Ministry, besides the other portfolios that Likud has already agreed to give it.

The rabbi added that the party must demand the ministry with all of its current functions and fields of authority, including the Committee for Appointment of dayanim (Beit Din, or rabbinical court, judges).

“The entire change must certainly not be at the expense of the other portfolios and roles that were offered,” he said.

The rabbi rejected the accusations that by placing an ultimatum before Likud regarding the Justice Ministry, the Jewish Home is endangering the very possibility of establishing a right-wing coalition.

“In any case, there is a great concern in the air, that Netanyahu will try to change the coalition's makeup in three months' time,” he said. “I suggest that the Jewish Home demand that the agreements with Likud be anchored in a way that will make it impossible to change them until the next elections.”