Right fearful: Is Netanyahu conceding too much in unity talks?

The Likud is retreating from key positions on sovereignty and judicial appointments, reports say.

By David Isaac, World Israel News 

Israel’s right-wing is angry. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reportedly has given into demands by Israel Resilience Leader Benny Gantz regarding the application of sovereignty in parts of Judea and Samaria and appointing judges, Arutz 7 reports on Sunday.

Sources says there are “indications” that Netanyahu will give the center-left party the ability to block any move to apply sovereignty over significant parts of Judea and Samaria. (Netanyahu had promised to extend sovereignty to Judea and Samaria and the Jordan Valley during his last two election campaigns.)

Blue and White has expressed opposition to declaring sovereignty, arguing that the corona crisis must first be addressed. Blue and White MK Michael Biton said, “We need to form a government to deal with this crisis that we’re in. After half a year when the situation is stabilized we can talk about the political matter.”

Arutz 7 also reports that Blue and White, which was to receive the Ministry of Justice, will now also have a say in the appointment of judges. The Likud is said to have withdrawn an earlier demand to put in place a system giving it influence over judge selection.

Former Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked, who had been instrumental in placing more conservative judges on the High Court, said on Saturday night, “Handing over the Justice Ministry to the Left doesn’t just mean stopping the revolution but going backwards, to the days when the judges would appoint themselves.”

Shaked said that at least four judges would be appointed to the Supreme Court in the next term. “This is a historic opportunity to realize a conservative majority. Conceding such an opportunity will be remembered as an eternal disgrace.”

Arutz 7 reports the number of judges appointed during the next four years may be as many as five, giving the next Justice Minister tremendous influence over the look of the High Court for the next decade.

Defense Minister Naftali Bennett complained about the lack of input his Yemina party has had in the negotiations, hinting his party may end up in the opposition.

“There are very limited contacts. The prime minister has to make a decision on where the government ship is headed… If this is a government that will be against all that we believe in, then we don’t need to be there. We want to be in a government in which, even if we don’t get all we desire, our values will be expressed and we will have some influence.”