With coalition negotiations stalled with two potential coalition partners (Religious Zionism and United Torah Judaism-UTJ), senior members of the Likud party have expressed their displeasure with the way the negotiations are being handled, not by party head Benjamin Netanyahu but by MK Yariv Levin, head of the party's negotiating team.
According to a report on Channel 12 News, Likud criticism of Levin is not solely focused on the way he is handling the negotiations, but also on what senior party members are calling a "deliberate weakening" of the status of senior party members. They claim that Levin is acting with the "post-Netanyahu" era in mind, and is seeking to position certain people in advantageous positions while demoting others. This relates to the apportioning of ministries as well as the scope of authority within the ministries themselves.
Murmurs and louder voices of discontent were already beginning to be heard last week from Likud MKs David Bitan, Dudi Amsalem, and Yisrael Katz. According to reports, the collaboration between these three veteran party members has Netanyahu concerned, although those close to Netanyahu appear to believe that if Katz is granted a senior ministry, the partnership of the three will disintegrate.
Meanwhile, only two major ministries will likely remain in Likud hands, Defense and Foreign Affairs, which have been earmarked by Netanyahu for MKs Yoav Galant and Amir Ohana.