After Breaking From Netanyahu, Bennett Admits in Talks on Forming Unity Gov’t

YERUSHALAYIM -
Head of the Yamina party, Naftali Bennett, outside the Knesset, last week. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

Yamina chief Naftali Bennett confirmed on Friday he was moving away from Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, whose efforts to form a government appear to have stalled, and was working on forming a “national unity government” instead.

“From the moment I realized that Netanyahu did not intend to choose one of the two alternatives for forming a right-wing government, I began striving to form a national unity government,” Bennett wrote in a lengthy social media post.

“If such a government is indeed formed, all partners must show restraint in their conduct, and perhaps we can bring some peace to the Israeli public.”

The Likud party responded in a statement sharply critical of the Yamina chair.

“Bennett wants to become prime minister at all costs, including at the cost of inaugurating a left-wing government. A government that boycotts the right’s 52 seats and is comprised of 50 leftist MKs, including the far-left and the Joint List, is not a unity government, but a left-wing government with a tiny right-wing fig leaf,” the statement read.

According to reports, Bennett would be the first prime minister in the rotation, with Yair Lapid serving as foreign minister and then prime minister. Benny Gantz would serve as defense minister, Gideon Sa’ar as justice minister and Avigdor Liberman as finance minister.