With expectations that Israeli President Shimon Peres will formally start the clock on forming a coalition government, Yesh Atid leader Yair Lapid looks to be playing hardball on getting key domestic positions, reportedly demanding both the Housing Ministry and the head of parliament’s Finance Committee.
Lapid had reportedly been offered the choice between finance and foreign ministry positions, and prefers the former. He feels, however, that ministerial posts which his party would use to reduce subsidies for the ultra orthodox are meaningless if the associated committees remain in the hands of ultra orthodox parties.
Speaking of Lapid’s eagerness to keep the Shas and United Torah Judaism bloc from undercutting his policies, he is also reported to be coordinating his demands with Naftali Bennett, the head of the Jewish Home party, as the two hope to use their considerable sway to keep the Shas led coalition from pushing their way into a “unity” government at the expense of their campaign promises.
Bennett and Lapid’s offices both denied the reports of specific “planning meetings,” but both issued identical statements on the matter, saying they won’t discuss specific issues related to coalition talks.