Return of the alliance? Lapid backs Bennett

May 27, 2016  

Yesh Atid chairperson MK Yair Lapid backed Jewish Home chairperson Education Minister Naftali Bennett on Friday, over his demand to have military secretaries appointed to every member of the Security Cabinet as a condition for supporting an expansion of the coalition.

“Bennett is right. As a condition to expand the coalition he is demanding only one thing: a deep repair in the work of the Security Cabinet. As someone who sat with him in the Cabinet, I can testify that the current situation is not reasonable,” wrote Lapid on Facebook.

The support may be a first sign of a resurgent alliance between the two; back in the 2013 elections Lapid and Bennett signed an agreement vowing only to enter the government together, and their parties pushed joint legislation such as the controversial haredi draft law before the two finally had a falling out.

In his backing of Bennett, the former Finance Minister wrote that Cabinet ministers do not receive in-depth information or go through any training process for their roles. 

“For those who are interested in the topic, I recommend reading the chapters dealing with the work of the Cabinet in Ofer Shelah’s book ‘The Courage to Win.’ As a member of the Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee Ofer brings a clear and precise analysis there of the failings of the Cabinet (including in Protective Edge) and the required corrections in its work,” wrote Lapid.

Lapid heaped praise on his erstwhile ally, writing, “Bennett is also worthy of appreciation for how in the cynical atmosphere in which everyone is busy only with the question of how comfortable their arm chair will be and how much money will go to those who are close to them, he placed a demand touching on the security of the state and the running of the government.”

“But in this government those who make a list of cynical demands and only ask for portfolios and honor turn into someone who everyone wants to work with. On the other hand, those who don’t ask anything for themselves but rather try to improve the workings of the political echelon are accused of opportunism and receive threats of being fired.”

Lapid’s comment refers to a report Thursday night in Channel 2 revealing how officials are trying to convince Bennett to support incoming Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman’s entry to the coalition government, and threatening Jewish Home ministers with being fired if the party does not support the widening of the coalition.

Bennett’s demand for military secretaries and easier access to sensitive intelligence information comes after a report revealing faults in the Security Cabinet’s functioning in Operation Protective Edge and the Second Lebanon War.

Israel National Security Council chief Ya’akov Nagel on Wednesday was critical of Bennett’s demand, relaying that “ahead of every cabinet hearing, every minister who wants to can prepare for the discussion.”

He noted how the National Security Council offers to prepare intelligence information for the ministers if they so desire.

Security sources told Channel 2 that as part of his work in the Cabinet, Bennett in the past asked for in-depth intelligence regarding the Iranian nuclear threat, and they prepared it for him four times – they exposed that he did not come to pick up the information they prepared for him all four times.

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