Representatives of the Likud met on Friday with members of the Union of Right-wing Parties as part of the negotiations to form the governing coalition. The far-right alliance has set out its conditions for them to join a government led by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
The Union of Right-wing Parties demands that Benjamin Netanyahu commit to annex all Israeli settlements in the West Bank and support legislation that would grant him de facto immunity from legal proceedings, a spokesman for a Union executive declared this week.
Prior to the negotiations with the Likud, the Union of Right-wing Parties made a long list of additional demands, ranging from obtaining key ministries to adopting laws limiting the Supreme Court’s power of control over the Knesset. These conditions for their entry into government include that the leader of the alliance, Rafi Peretz, be appointed Minister of Education and the number two on the list, Bezalel Smotrich, Minister of Justice.
“Norwegian law” allows a member to temporarily resign from the Knesset
The Union also calls for the adoption of a law that would bypass the Supreme Court by allowing the Knesset, with a majority vote, to reintroduce for a vote any law that has been retooled by Israel’s highest legal institution. The law is supported by a number of the right-wing parties that are expected to participate in Netanyahu’s coalition and have seen some of their legislative attempts struck down as unconstitutional by the Supreme Court.
Some of the requirements of this long list, which also includes the request for a third minor ministerial portfolio, such as the Ministry of Jerusalem or Diaspora Affairs, could be part of a negotiating tactic to put as much pressure as possible on Netanyahu, who will not be able to accept all the demands of the far right alliance.
Other items on the list of requirements include that the government pass an expanded version of what has been called “Norwegian law”, which allows a member of any party appointed to a ministerial post to temporarily resign from the Knesset, thus leaving the possibility for the next person on the party’s list to enter the Parliament.