After President Rivlin gave Binyamin Netanyahu a mandate to form a government, Yamin Chairman Naftali Bennet issued a statement to the media: “Israel needs a government that reflects the distribution of opinion among the people, a stable right wing national government. I will do everything I can to prevent new elections.”
“I don’t know many politicians who have faced an immediate real opportunity to become prime minister and not jumped at it,” Bennet said, referring to Lapid’s remarks that he offered to be first in line in a unity government.
“I didn’t have a dilemma. I will not give up my values for any role.”
Bennet added, hinting at Smotrich: “There are those who call themselves right-wing, but they have no problem dragging everybody into another horrible election campaign, in the name of these ‘lofty values.’ It’s like those people who burned each other’s food supply 2,000 years ago. There are no ideals there – there are ambitions.”
Bennet said he wished Netanyahu well. “We will approach the coalition negotiations in good faith. We will do everything in our power to prevent a fifth election.” He concluded by addressing the parties: “I am really asking here, right and left – everyone. For God’s sake! – we have a country, stop this campaign. I will do everything I can to bring Israel to a safe shore.”
Meretz Chairman Nitzan Horowitz responded in an interview with Daphne Liel to Bennett’s statement, “We will not accept a government in which the right will rule without compromise. We want a partnership, not a takeover.”
Gideon Saar said there are two possible governments: a national camp government led by another candidate, not Netanyahu, or a parity unity government “that will allow us to stand for values and principles.” “One thing is clear,” Saar said, “that there is no force that can force us to join a government that will not allow us to reflect our values.
Religious Zionist Party chairman Betsalel Smotrich regarding Bennett considering becoming prime minister with Arab party support, “Bennett is actively working to thwart efforts to include Gideon Saar in a right-wing government and seeks to create legitimacy to dismantle the national camp and irresponsible alliance with the left,” a former Bennett associate wrote.
Yamin called Smotrich a “snake in the guise of a rightist” who has already stung Uri Ariel and many others on his career path for his personal advancement that burns in him. “He is forcibly attempting to enslave the religious Zionist community for his own personal purposes, denigrating and humiliating that community.”
Yesterday, Yamin decided to recommend his party chairman Naftali Bennett to Rivlin. MP Ayelet Shaked told the president, “Although the number of recommenders is small, he has a chance, and he may succeed in doing so.”