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Rabbis call for security portfolio to be given to Smotrich to prevent Palestinian State

November 14, 2022 at 6:58 pm

Rabbi Haim Druckman [Youtube]

The Religious Zionism rabbis, headed by Rabbi Haim Druckman, head of the Religious Zionism party, demanded Bezalel Smotrich insist on taking over the security portfolio during the calls regarding forming the government headed by Benjamin Netanyahu.

In a statement issued after their meeting with Smotrich yesterday evening, the rabbis called to “firmly insist, without compromise, on the position of Minister of Defence in order to enhance the security of the State of Israel, to strengthen the spirit of the Israeli army, to prevent the establishment of a Palestinian State and establish settlements in Judea and Samaria”, meaning legalising settlement outposts in the West Bank.

The rabbis added that they call for insisting on the Party’s demand regarding (obtaining) the education and religions portfolios. They justified this by saying, “It is of paramount importance that Religious Zionism lead the work for the Jewish identity of the State in the spirit of the Torah’s Land of Israel.”

Yesterday, Smotrich met with Shas Party leader, Aryeh Deri, who made it clear that he was interested in taking over the finance portfolio. Deri had informed Netanyahu of his desire to take over this ministerial portfolio. Smotrich told Deri that if he is given the finance portfolio, he would ask to take over the security portfolio.

Sources in the Likud Party said that Deri has “priority” in choosing the ministerial portfolio he wants, Israeli media reported on Monday. However, sources familiar with the coalition negotiations said that there is a possibility that Deri will give up the finance portfolio, in parallel with Smotrich relinquishing the finance or security portfolio, but the Shas and Religious Zionism parties strongly reject this possibility.

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Yesterday, Israeli President, Isaac Herzog, officially charged Netanyahu with forming the next government. Netanyahu decided to postpone the inauguration of his government, following disagreements between the parties participating in the coalition over many files, issues and ministerial portfolios that Deri and Smotrich would receive, while agreeing to legalise the outposts and tightening “law enforcement” on Palestinian construction in Area C in the Occupied West Bank.

Meanwhile, the head of the fascist Otzma Yehudit Party, Itamar Ben-Gvir, intends to demand today that coalition agreements include a provision for enacting a law allowing the imposition of the death penalty on Palestinians convicted of terrorist attacks. Such a law was proposed in the past, by Yisrael Beytenu leader, Avigdor Lieberman, as well, but was opposed.

While there is a majority in favour of such a law in the right-wing government that is being formed, it is not clear if Likud will allow it, according to the Ynet website.

In the draft law, Ben-Gvir claims that “his goal is to nip terrorism in its cradle, and to establish a deep deterrence. Under this draft bill, a terrorist convicted of murder motivated by racism or hostility toward the public, and under circumstances targeting the State of Israel and the Jewish people in their land, it is obligatory to sentence them to death. It is not a choice, preference of opinion; it is a mandatory punishment.”

According to the draft law, it “seeks to change the law in force in the region, and to confirm that it will be possible to impose the death penalty by a majority of opinions as well, and that it will not be possible to commute the sentence.”