Late Drama As Rabbi Peretz Leaves Yemina, Enters Government At Last Minute

Jewish Home Party chairman Rafi Peretz at faction meeting at the Knesset in Jerusalem, on Nov. 11, 2019 (Photo by Hadas Parush/Flash90)

JERUSALEM (VINnews) — Jewish Home leader Rabbi Rafi Peretz left the Yemina party and will join the Netanyahu government after an agreement was reached between Peretz and Netanyahu Thursday morning. The agreement states that Peretz will be appointed Minister Of Jerusalem Affairs and National Projects.

Negotiations between the Jewish Home leader and Netanyahu continued yesterday despite a letter from numerous prominent religious Zionist rabbis calling on Peretz not to break the unity within their camp and join the government. Yemina leader Naftali Bennett refused the final offer presented to him by Prime Minister Netanyahu during a telephone conversation yesterday, opening the way for negotiations with Peretz.

Former Jewish Home MK Motty Yogev attacked Peretz’s move, stating that “just as all my life I strove for unity among the people of Israel, I also strove for unity within the religious-Zionist camp and I think there is no place for opportunistic behavior which aims to fit with a given situation.

‘Rabbi Peretz’s conduct was dishonest and is one of the reasons for the public loss of faith in Yemina. There is no place for individual actions but rather for unifying forces. The entry of the entire Yemina party (to the government) is essential for the Israeli political map and hopefully could still be done even at the price of postponing the inauguration of the government. The entry of one individual or another with no public support is unconscionable.”

The 35th Israeli government is expected to be sworn in Thursday, 24 hours after most of the coalition agreements were signed.

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