Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon intends to press on United Torah Judaism to join the government after Shinui accepted Monday to sit in the cabinet with the ultra-Orthodox party, ending a public stand issued since the party was established.
Sharon is likely to offer reinstating funds for yeshivas that had been drastically cut in recent years.
‘There are times in life when you must understand the requirements of the moment,’ Shinui Leader Yousef Lapid said.
Lapid referred to his party acceptance to sit in the same cabinet with UJT as a sacrifice needed to secure a strong and stable government.
UJT immediate expressed opposition to joining a Likud-Labor-Shinui cabinet, yet, it is likely that the ultra-orthodox party participation would depend on what Sharon will be welling to offer them.
MK Moshe Gafni (UTJ) said Monday ‘We will not support such a government, not from the inside and not from the outside,’
MK Avraham Ravitz (UJT) said ‘we must kick them [Shinui] and get rid of them. We cannot sit together with people like these.’
But despite his strong attack against Shinui, Ravitz confirmed that there are Ã¢â‚¬Å“good chancesÃ¢â‚¬Â that UJT would join the coalition, saying that UJT would seek ministerial portfolios, which no Ashkenazi Haredi party has ever held.
Apparently, Sharon managed to kick on staled coalition talks when he made it clear to Shinui party that he intends to invite UTJ into coalition.
Labor, the second potential coalition partner, is not in principle opposed to sitting with Haredi parties in the same cabinet.
After Shinui lifted the ban against Haredi parties, tough negotiations over what would UTJ would receive in exchange are expected.
Sharon also needs to bypass Likud internal opposition led by his Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom.