Benjamin Netanyahu
Photo: Reuters
Ariel Atias
Photo: Yaron Brener

Shas seeks to review Coalition deal

Religious party's discontent with cabinet's approval of Trajtenberg recommendations prompts its captains to hint implementation of controversial report may destabilize government

Shas' discontent with the government's approval of the Trajtenberg Report on Sunday has prompted its captains to seek a review of the Coalition Agreement – a move which may rattle the government's makeup.


Ynet learned Monday that a senior member of the party implied as much in a communiqué sent to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu after the vote, which saw the report approved by a majority of 21 to eight.


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Shas was reportedly enraged by the fact that the Trajtenberg recommendations were passed despite their failure to address the main problem – which many see as the catalyst to the social unrest sweeping through Israel over the past several months – the housing crisis.


"The Trajtenberg Report can bolster the coalition only if the needs of all its parties are met," the source said. "If instead of doing that you start to review the Coalition Agreement, then by all means – let's review all of them. The ramifications may be quite significant, and we have a long Winter Session ahead of us."


Netanyahu and Trajtenberg (Photo: Mark Israel Salem)


Shas, whose four ministers voted against the Trajtenberg recommendations, said that the cabinet's approval of the report was "purely symbolic," since each of its parts still has to undergo a second, separate vote.


The party warned that the recommendations include articles that contradict its Coalition deal, which is why – should the report mature into legislation – Shas has the power to destabilize Netanyahu's Coalition.


Shas warned that its members will push private legislation bills meant to address the public housing crisis – should the government fails to do so independently.


During the cabinet meeting, which was described as "heated," Housing and Construction Minister Ariel Atias told the ministers that "It is inconceivable that a report that's supposed to do justice by the middle class will do an injustice to the lower classes. Don’t think that pushing this here means the end of it."


Atias demands that the cabinet approve his proposal to mandate that 5% of all housing units built under State tenders would be allocated for public housing, arguing that is a "pill" the Treasury "could withstand swallowing," as it poses a burden to the budget.


Shas Chairman Eli Yishai's associates said that the interior minister shared Atias' concerns and was also displeased with the government's decision to accept the Trajtenberg recommendation in their current form.


Yishai's met on Sunday with protest leader Daphni Leef and called for the government to annul the 2012 budget and "correct the Trajtenberg travesty."


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פרסום ראשון: 10.10.11, 07:00
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