Likud set to meet with Noam leader after party threatened to boycott coalition

Likud party leader Benjamin Netanyahu will meet on Tuesday with Avi Maoz, leader of the right-wing Noam party and its sole MP, amid threats from the anti-LGBT party to boycott the coalition.

Noam, who participated in a united right-wing platform with religious Zionism and Otzma Yehudith, demanded the right to negotiate separate terms to include a seat in the 64-member religious right coalition that won Israel’s Nov. 1 election.

According to Likud party sources, Maoz’s requirements for joining the coalition are not yet known, and Maoz’s office refused to request their details.

A source close to Maoz said that as of Tuesday morning, Maoz had not received an invitation to meet with Netanyahu, despite his request to talk separately from religious Zionism and Otzma Yehudit, and for this reason, the party is thinking of leaving the coalition and challenging the opposition. government from its right wing.

The invitation to meet with Netanyahu apparently came shortly after.

Noam was hand-stitched by Netanyahu in order to preserve right-wing votes in the extreme religious Zionism-Otzma Yehudith paper, which was predicted to be a tight election.

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Maoz has grabbed headlines for his anti-LGBT stance, saying he would legalize a ban on pride parades, roll back banned and widely rejected conversion therapy and reform in the days when religious Zionism became the second-largest party in the Netanyahu-led bloc. , which arose from there, return it. opened the market for kosher certification and promoted “Jewish education” in public schools.

Likud is in the uncomfortable position of being the most left-wing member of the coalition it formed. The party has a prominent gay lawmaker, and several of its MKs have rejected some of its far-right partners for its more extreme ideology. Noam’s party source suggested that there may be forces within Likud that want Maoz out of the coalition.

Likud leader Benjamin Netanyahu arrives for coalition talks with his political allies in Jerusalem, November 6, 2022. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

However, Likud sources confirmed once again that “the intention to bring [Maoz] joins the coalition”.

On Sunday, Netanyahu met with party leaders Bezalel Smotrich of Religious Zionism, United Torah Jewish leader Yitzchok Goldknopf and Degel HaTorah subgroup leader Moshe Gafni, and Shas leader Aryeh Deri.

On Monday, Netanyahu met with Otzma Yehudit leader Itamar Ben Gvir, who is leading separate talks with Netanyahu but reaffirming his commitment to align with Smotrich before the coalition is finalized.

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Netanyahu, who has reportedly been in the opposition since June 2021, is pressing hard on his allies to quickly form a government and then work out the finer details. Smotrich is said to be wary of relying on unsigned promises, reportedly pushing back against a slim deal focused mainly on sharing ministerial portfolios and instead wants a coalition deal before agreeing to form a government. close the closed policy.

Led by Netanyahu’s right-hand man Yair Levin, the fast-moving coalition talks could see Likud with more positions of power than the party initially expected.

Likud Chairman Benjamin Netanyahu will meet with UTJ MK Moshe Gafni in Jerusalem on November 6, 2022.

Although Likud reportedly wanted to keep the prestigious defense, foreign and finance ministries for its members, Smotrich is said to want either defense or finance, with an emphasis on the latter more likely.

Ben Gvir, who has campaigned hard-liners on deporting “disloyal” Israelis, loosening military fire rules to combat Palestinian violence and improving governance and personal security inside Israel, has asked the Ministry of Public Security, which is likely to . more likely. It also called for a second ministry for Ben Gvir, who was first-time MP Yitzhak Wasserlauf.

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It is said that Shas, along with other demands, wants the Ministry of Internal Affairs.

United Torah Judaism is expected to regain the powerful chairmanship of the Knesset Finance Committee for Gafni and deputy minister posts for its lawmakers, who are ideologically barred from holding ministries by their rabbi.

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