The leader of the Israeli religious party Yamina, Naftali Bennett, announced this Sunday an agreement to negotiate the formation of a coalition government that includes the centrist Yesh Atid party and whose main objective is to displace the outgoing prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, of the conservative Likud party from power.
In his appearance, with a clear institutional toneBennett has stressed that Netanyahu has no chance of forming a right-wing government. “It is an absolute lie,” he assured.
The options are now, according to Bennett, the fifth elections in a row since April 2019 or a government of the “change bloc” that includes parties opposed to Netanyahu and that goes from the right to the left.
For this reason, it has announced that it is working towards the formation of a unity government with the leader of the centrist Yesh Atid party, Yair Lapid. “I intend to work with all my strength to build a government of national unity together with my friend Yair Lapid (…) to put Israel back on the right track,” has pointed out.
Bennett has acknowledged that there are differences between partners, but They share a determination to work for the good of the country. “This country will only work if we all pull together (…). We are going to restore unity (…), Israel’s secret weapon since its foundation,” has argued.
As of the agreement between Yamina and Yesh Atid, “All parties are invited to enter the government.” “No one will have to give up their ideology, but everyone will have to postpone the realization of some of their dreams (…). We will concentrate on what can be achieved, instead of arguing about what cannot be achieved,” he said. riveted.
He has also rejected that it is a left-wing government and in fact has affirmed that it is “a little more right-wing than the current one.” “You just have to look at the list of ministers,” he said. Thus, he has recognized the “concessions” of the left by making Bennett himself prime minister, former president of the Council of Settlers, and making minister of Justice Gideon Saar, leader of Nueva Esperanza.
Furthermore, Bennett has warned that “We will not surrender territories (…) nor will we waver” in making military decisions when necessary. “2,000 years ago we lost a Jewish state here because of internal hatred. That will not happen again. Not in my eyes,” he stressed. Following the announcement, Yesh Atid has reported that negotiators from both formations will meet to formally resume negotiations to form a government.
Netanyahu: “The Scam of the Century”
A few minutes after Bennett’s appearance, Netanyahu also spoke with an institutional air to reproach his rival for setting up “the scam of the century.” “No one would have voted for you if they had known what you would do,” he reproached, while he has described the future government not as a unity government, but as a “government of weakness” that will undermine Israel’s deterrence capacity.
Netanyahu has accused Bennett of having the sole objective of becoming prime minister. and he has denounced the falsity of his rival’s claim that there are no options to form a right-wing government. Thus, he has reiterated the proposal launched this morning to form a government with Nueva Esperanza and Yamina. Netanyahu would be the second of three rotating prime ministers with New Hope leader Gideon Saar as first prime minister and with Bennett as third.
Saar rejected the proposal this Sunday: “Our position and commitment have not changed: put an end to the Netanyahu government,” he stressed on Twitter. Bennett hasn’t even responded.
What’s more, Netanyahu has assured that he has the commitment of support from several deputies of rival parties to support him as prime minister once the mandate to form a government granted to Lapid expires, next Wednesday. Following the interventions by Bennett and Netanyahu, two Likud ministers have criticized Netanyahu for his willingness to hand over the post of prime minister to the leaders of other parties rather than to the Likud ministers themselves.
“What is amazing is his willingness to hand over the government to (Benjamin) Gantz, Bennett and even Saar (…) and even to go to the opposition rather than present a different candidate from Likud”, the ministers have affirmed to Netanyahu, according to the Israeli press.
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.