News Channel 2’s Daphna Liel reported that the Yamin Chadash led by MK Naftali Bennett will demand the Religion Portfolio as a condition for joining a government in coalition negotiations that will take place after elections.
The Religion Portfolio is currently held by Shas and traditionally is held by Ultra-Orthodox parties.
During the 19th Knesset, Naftali Bennett was the Minister of Religion for two years. During his time in this position, Bennett announced that he was opening another area for prayer at the Kotel for the liberal movements in Judaism and for Women of the Wall. This is the area now known as the Egalitarian Kotel.
Chairman of Yamin Chadash Naftali Bennett posted on his Facebook:
“We will bring back the Religion Portfolio to Religious Zionism. Our tradition and our legacy must become the glue that binds us together and not the battlefield. We must bring back welcoming Judaism in Kashrut, marriage, conversion–everything. We must have a Zionist Chief Rabbi. We need whoever works in religion in any way in Israel to understand that this is a holy mission of connecting the people and not a center of political power that serves narrow interests”.
MK Ayelet Shaked (Yamin Chadash) also responded to the article and wrote:
“I appreciate the Ultra-Orthodox public very much but Israel deserves a Chief Rabbi from Religious Zionism, who will know how to connect and alleviate the tensions between us. When on one side they are claiming that there Hadata (pressure on the public to become more religious) and on the other side they can’t find a way to bring the public closer to conversion. There is a middle way and it is the way of Uri Orbach, the way of welcoming Judaism. That is what we are trying to do“.