Bennett to his party: ‘Drop Judea and Samaria talk’

Prime Minister Bennett is trying to keep the peace among his eclectic coalition partners, with left wing parties upset over the planned expansion of Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria.

By Lauren Marcus, World Israel News

Prime Minister Naftali Bennett has advised his Yamina party to drop the subject of Jewish settlements and building in Judea and Samaria until after the budget passes, in order to avoid conflict with his left wing coalition partners.

Kan News reported that Bennett is trying to keep the peace among his eclectic coalition partners, with the Meretz and Labor parties upset by a recent announcement that some 3,000 new Jewish homes were approved to be built in Judea and Samaria.

The possible legalization of the Evyatar outpost also sparked backlash among left wing politicians, who Bennett needs in order to maintain his razor thin, 61 seat majority and remain in power.

If the coalition does not pass a budget by November 14th, the Knesset will automatically dissolve and Israel will head to its fifth round of national elections in less than three years.

“The Yamina government is disregarding Meretz,” wrote liberal MK Mossi Raz on Twitter in response to the announcement. “It’s heading 10 degrees more to the right than the last government. Building in settlements outside of Israel harms Israel.”

“When I see the government’s policies in the occupied territories, it does not fit with my beliefs,” Raz added in a later statement to Hebrew-language media.

Alternative prime minister and current Foreign Minister Yair Lapid, who promotes himself as a left-leaning centrist, also released subtle criticism of the plan to expand Jewish communities over the Green Line.

While avoiding express condemnation of the decision, Lapid told his Yesh Atid party members who felt they were not properly informed of the decision in advance that “next time, I will be in the room during decisions on such matters.”

In what appeared to be a direct response to Raz’s statements, Lapid added that “this is not a government that is ten degrees to the right or left, it’s a government that is 100 percent for Israeli citizens.”

After 6 million shekels of funding was allotted for the welfare of street cats, opposition MK Avi Maoz derisively called the Israeli ruling coalition “a government for all its cats” on Tuesday.