These Are the Deals Signed by the Parties in the Bennett-Lapid Coalition

Michael Hauser Tov
Michael Hauser Tov
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The leaders of the parties set to form the coalition meet in Tel Aviv, this week.
The leaders of the parties set to form the coalition meet in Tel Aviv, this week.Credit: Raanan Cohen
Michael Hauser Tov
Michael Hauser Tov

Naftali Bennett's Yamina signed its coalition agreement with Yair Lapid's Yesh Atid on Friday, the last party to do so, capping weeks of negotiations. 

With the final agreement sealed, the new government will be sworn in on Sunday, ultimately unseating Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu after 12 years in power. 

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These are the main points in the agreements, including the basic guidelines the government will aim to follow. 

The Knesset plenum, this week. Credit: Ohad Zwigenberg

Basic guidelines

  • Pursing a bill to limit a prime minister's rule to eight years or two terms (a statement of principle that does not have yet an agreed formula).
  • Establishing a commission of inquiry to investigate the Mount Meron disaster, in which 45 died in a stampede during a religious festival.
  • Shutting down four ministries: Digital, Water, Community Development, and Strategic Affairs.
  • Increasing the old-age income supplement to 70 percent of the minimum wage.
  • Advancing a reform package to assist disabled veterans and taking other steps to benefit them.
  • Creating competition in kashrut services and establishing a consistent standard on the matter, changing the body that selects the country's chief rabbi in order to enable the election of a Zionist chief rabbi, and opening up the possibility of conversion through municipal rabbinical authorities.

Yamina

Yamina's number 2 Ayelet Shaked at the President's Official Residence, in April. Credit: Ohad Zwigenberg
  • Bennett and Lapid both have veto power over decisions made in the cabinet and ministerial committees.
  • All other coalition agreements are also subject to the Yamina-Yesh Atid agreement.
  • Adding new parties to the government may only occur if both Bennett and Lapid agree to it.
  • Senior appointments will be exempt from the mutual veto and be voted on by the cabinet.
  • Yamina will control the national service administration.
  • Yamina lawmaker Ayelet Shaked will be the coalition representative on the Knesset Judicial Appointments Committee during the first half of the government's term.
  • Yamina will control the committee that appoints rabbinic judges.
  • Maintaining the status quo regarding religious and state, with all changes being subject to approval by Bennett and Lapid.

New Hope

  • Dividing the position of attorney general into two posts: the head of the prosecution and the government’s legal adviser. As Haaretz has reported, the plan is to name a committee that will study the issue and submit recommendations to the cabinet for approval.
  • Passing a new Basic Law on Legislation that will regulate the relationship between the Knesset and the Supreme Court and include a mechanism for repealing laws and basic laws by the court.
  • Responsibility for preschools will be transferred from the Labor Ministry to the Education Ministry, which will be headed by New Hope’s Yifat Shasha-Biton.
  • Funding a program to supervise Palestinian construction in Area C, the part of the West Bank under full Israeli jurisdiction.
  • Marijuana laws will be reformed to decriminalize personal use and regulate the market.

Labor Party

Labor chairwiman Merav Michaeli and her party members. Credit: Ohad Zwigenberg
  • The Labor Party, with seven Knesset seats, will have six ministers or deputy ministers. The party’s ministerial portfolios will be transportation (Merav Michaeli), public security (Omer Bar Lev) and Diaspora affairs (to be determined). Two of those three ministers will be cabinet members. The party will also chair the Constitution, Law and Justice Committee of the Knesset as well as the Labor, Welfare and Health Committee.
  • A seat on the Judicial Appointments Committee: Despite its concession regarding the ministerial seat on the Judicial Appointments Committee, the party ensured that it will have one vote in the committee throughout the next term. During the first two years, Labor will get one of the two seats reserved for MKs, and after that, party chairwoman Merav Michaeli will hold the ministerial seat.
  • A special division will be set up to support Reform and Conservative Jews in Israel.

United Arab List

  • The Kaminitz Law, which makes it easier to raze illegal construction, will be frozen through 2024: The Arab community views this law as aimed primarily at it. The coalition agreements also require the new government to discuss amending the law within four months of being sworn in. But since every party has veto power over legislation, that provision is unlikely to lead to any actual changes.
  • All home demolitions in the Negev will be frozen for nine months while the government formulates a clear policy on this issue.
  • UAL chairman Mansour Abbas will head the Knesset's Interior Committee, but the committee's authority to supervise the police will be transferred to the Public Security Committee.
  • Deputy minister in the Prime Minister's Office: UAL has yet to decide whether to make use of this clause.
  • Funding for Arab community: An unprecedented 52 billion shekels ($16 billion) in government funding for the Arab community over the next few years. Until now, the biggest program of investment in the Arab community was Netanyahu’s five-year plan, which totaled 15 billion shekels.

Meretz

  • Meretz will receive three cabinet portfolios: Health (party chairman Nitzan Horowitz), environment (Tamar Zandberg), and regional cooperation (Esawi Freige).
  • Promoting LGBTQ rights: The agreement states that the parties will use “all the tools at their disposal to advance the gay community’s rights,” including by finding a solution for couples who currently cannot marry legally. But this language is less binding than it seems. First, any legislation will require the consent of all the parties, and UAL is adamantly opposed to gay rights. Moreover, UAL’s coalition agreement gives it the right to vote its conscience on LGBTQ issues. Thus, the chances of any new legislation being passed on this issue are slim. Nevertheless, the fact that Yamina – a religious Zionist party – signed off on this language is in itself an achievement.
  • Promoting public transportation on the Sabbath: agreement is non-binding on this issue as well.
  • Anti-emissions law: setting up binding, nation-wide greenhouse gasses emissions regulations. 

Kahol Lavan

Kahol Lavan head Benny Gantz, this week. Credit: Moti Milrod
  • Establishing a commission of inquiry to investigate the Mount Meron disaster, in which 45 died in a stampede during a religious festival.
  • Re-examining the national conscription law: Party leader Benny Gantz wants to change the model to include an alternate national service track.
  • The Defense Ministry, headed by Gantz, will supervise Area C ­­– the part of the West Bank under full Israeli jurisdiction.

Yisrael Beiteinu

  • The government will adopt the Western Wall compromise of 2016: A non-segregated area for male and female worshipers will be established in the southern plaza of the compound; of the six seats reserved for cabinet members in the committee responsible for the new area, three will be reserved for women.
  • Promoting legislation that would authorize city rabbis to conduct conversions: a non-binding clause, which will only include support for such a move.
  • Promoting an amendment that would revoke the interior minister's ability to close businesses on Shabbat – again, a non-binding clause.

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