Smotrich insists on Defence job, rejects Netanyahu compromises

Middle East Monitor  /  November 19, 2022

Extremist Israeli MK and Head of the Religious Zionism party Bezalel Smotrich has refused to back down on his demand for the Defence minister position and has rejected compromises with Likud party Head Benjamin Netanyahu.

Netanyahu does not want to give the Defence position to Smotrich to avoid international isolation. The US has already advised him not to give Smotrich the job.

Haaretz reported that the disputes between Netanyahu and Smotrich have not yet ended, and compromises have failed as Smotrich has turned down a proposal for the foreign affairs portfolio.

Meanwhile, Head of Otzma Yehudit Itamar Ben-Gvir is at odds with Likud, Haaretz reported, over a demand that his party should be given either the education or transportation portfolio.

Ben-Gvir is expected to secure the Public Security minister role, which he has been seeking prior to the elections.

The extremist MK argued that Smotrich has a legitimate right to the Defence job: “Smotrich’s demand for the Defence portfolio is legitimate, and that will allow the realization of full right-wing policies.”

Ben-Gvir stated those policies as: “The establishment of new [Jewish] settlements in Judea and Samaria (West Bank), the approval of thousands of apartment units, ending [Palestinian] construction in Area C and stopping the evacuation of [outposts].”