Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu late on Sunday night appointed Yuval Steinitz as Minister of International Relations and Silvan Shalom as Energy and Water Minister, resolving feuding over portfolios in a series of late-night meetings with Likud MKs, Army Radio reported.I don't know if anyone's happy, at least not in the Likud and Yisrael Beitenu parties. There weren't too many pickings left over after Bibi handed out the goodies to Livni, Lapid and Bennett.
Shalom is to also maintain his role as Minister of the Development of the Negev and Galilee and Regional Cooperation, Army Radio reported. Shalom will also be a member of the ministerial committee in charge of the negotiations with the Palestinian Authority.
In negotiations earlier on Sunday, the prime minister appointed Moshe Ya'alon Defense Minister.
Likud's Danny Danon will serve as Deputy Defense Minister.
Gideon Sa'ar will become Interior Minister, as expected. He said on his way out of his meeting with Netanyahu that he plans to bring reforms to the ministry, as he did as Education Minister.
Gilad Erdan received the Home Front Security and Communications portfolios, with a few extra responsibilities.
Erdan, who was considered a candidate to replace Ambassador to the US Michael Oren, will be responsible for the strategic relationship with the US. The position essentially means he is in charge of strategic dialogs with the US twice a year. In addition, he will be a member of the security cabinet, along with Netanyahu, Ya'alon, Yesh Atid leader Yair Lapid, Bayit Yehudi leader Naftali Bennett and Hatnua leader Tzipi Livni.
The Communications Ministry will be expanded to include the Israel Broadcast Agency and the Government Publications Bureau.
As planned, Bennett will be Economy and Trade Minister, Uri Ariel will be Housing and Construction Minister, Uri Orbach received the Pensioners’ Affairs portfolio, and Rabbi Eli Ben Dahan will be Deputy Minister of Religious Affairs.
Nissan Slomiansky, who was an MK for over 10 years, will be chairman of the powerful Knesset Finance Committee, and Avi Wortzman, former deputy mayor of Beersheba, will be Deputy Education Minister.
There's something that really bothers me about this coalition. I felt it in my kishkes, and I had trouble saying what it really is. Then I saw the latest Dry Bones, which put my feelings in clearer terms, not that Ya'akov says it in his cartoon.
There's something inherently undemocratic in a government coalition which aims to change the lives of a large and growing sector of the country/society while refusing them the rights to join the coalition and help draft the laws to make the changes just and possible.
Yes, I'm referring to the forcing of chareidim to be drafted into the IDF.
Now please get me right. I am not in favor of their (chareidi) universal policy idealizing a life a just learning Torah. I don't see it as Jewish. It's not. It's more like the Christian monasteries and nunneries with the crucial difference that the chareidim marry and are encourage to have lots of children. It's also a Christian, not Jewish, belief that "men of the cloth" shouldn't bear arms, serve in armies etc.
But I don't think its just nor moral for some sectors of society to try to legislate major changes in the lives of others. It unfortunately smacks of the early days of the State of Israel when religious immigrant children were sent to secular Aliyat Hanoar schools and worse.
The making of changes must be done gradually and with the cooperation of the affected sector of society. That means the the only fair, just and democratic way to increase the draft of charedim must be done with their cooperation. In recent years more chareidim have joined the army, and more chareidim are studying key secular subjects and professions and working. This will take time.
Blocking chareidim from the government coalition means that the government will seem like (or actually be) a dictatorship, rather than a democracy.
Netanyahu, Lapid, Bennett and Livni are making a big immoral and undemocratic mistake.