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As Bennett-Lapid Coalition Comes Together, Parties Jockey for Positions
This combination of pictures taken on May 5, 2021 shows (L to R) leader of Israel's Yesh Atid party Yair Lapid, and leader of the Yamina party Naftali Bennett, arriving at the Israeli President's Residence in Jerusalem. (Oren Ben Hakoon/AFP via Getty Images)

As Bennett-Lapid Coalition Comes Together, Parties Jockey for Positions

Negotiations to form a unity coalition government have run into some obstacles as the parties work to agree on the distribution of ministerial portfolios and other positions. But the heads of the parties involved say that the problems are not insurmountable.

Among the arguments are Benny Gantz’s Blue and White and Avigdor Liberman’s Yisrael Beitenu parties arguing over the Agriculture as well as Aliyah and Integration portfolios; Yesh Atid and New Hope parties are fighting over the Knesset speaker and the Communications Minister positions. Gantz also has said he should be rewarded for giving up his chance to serve as prime minister after Netanyahu, and that his party should have a seat on the Judicial Appointments Committee as well as a second seat on the security cabinet like some other parties.

“There are still plenty of obstacles in the way of the formation of the new government. Maybe that’s a good thing because we’ll have to overcome them together. That’s our first test. To see if we can find smart compromises in the coming days to achieve the greater goal,” Lapid said in a statement prior to a meeting of Yesh Atid on Monday afternoon.

“Even if Yesh Atid had 40 seats, this is the government I would want to form. Right, left and center, a unity government. A government which will take care of all the citizens of Israel, including those who didn’t vote for us, including those who won’t be in the government,” he added.

Representatives of Yesh Atid, Yamina, New Hope and Blue and White worked until after 3 am on Sunday night and started up again on Monday.

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