Last Hurdle Cleared, as Rabbi Litzman Brokers Compromise Between Netanyahu and Bennett
The final hurdle to MK Avigdor Liberman’s appointment as defense minister was apparently cleared late Sunday night, as Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu agreed to a proposal brokered by MK Rabbi Yaakov Litzman (UTJ) to placate Jewish Home leader MK Naftali Bennett.
Bennett had been withholding his party’s support of the new, larger coalition with Liberman as defense minister, as Bennett demanded changes to the workings of the security cabinet.
The Jewish Home leader had demanded that Netanyahu appoint a military attaché for each member of the 10-person security cabinet, to provide ministers with real-time security updates, coordinate fact-finding trips and facilitate better access to classified information. Netanyahu offered a compromise, namely, that after the vote to appoint Liberman, a committee – named by Netanyahu and headed by Yaakov Amidror, a former national-security adviser – would be formed to make recommendations for improving the workings of the security cabinet. Bennett rejected the compromise, forcing Netanyahu to postpone the vote on Liberman’s appointment as defense minister, for if Jewish Home had voted against the appointment, it may have led to a coalition crisis.
MK Rabbi Litzman then stepped in to broker an agreement, whereby acting National Security Council Chairman Yaakov Nagel, or one of his deputies, will serve as “secretary to the security cabinet,” and will brief the ministers on defense matters, until the new, aforementioned committee can be formed.
Now that the compromise has been reached, the vote on Liberman’s appointment has been scheduled for Monday.