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Bennett: ‘I’ve begun efforts to form a unity government’

Yamina chairman Naftali Bennett announced on Friday that he had begun efforts to form a national unity government.

In a lengthy post on Facebook, Bennett said that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu “has two practical options for forming a right-wing government. One is difficult to digest, but he is required to pressure [Bezalel] Smotrich in order to establish it, and the other requires Netanyahu to make a concession and serve as an Alternate Prime Minister for about a year.”

“Instead of choosing one of these two difficult options, Netanyahu chooses a third way: To drag the State of Israel to a fifth election, while campaigning aggressively and personally against me, as if I am a leftist, greedy for power, hate him, etc.,” added Bennett.

“From the moment I realized that Netanyahu does not intend to choose one of the two alternatives for forming a right-wing government, I began an effort to form a national unity government. In any case, the door to the right-wing government is open and desirable to me,” he stated.

Bennett added that there are two necessary conditions for such a unity government to be formed.

“The first condition – that we get the tools (veto rights, ministers, decision-making mechanisms) for a good, serious and functioning government to be formed. The second condition – that within the government we can maintain our principles and our national worldview.”

“I will be clear – such a unity government will not fulfill all my dreams, but it will be no less right-wing than Netanyahu’s governments with Ehud Barak, Tzipi Livni, or Avi Nissenkorn,” he stated.

Bennett conceded that “Such a government will not be able to apply sovereignty over parts of the Land of Israel, something I strongly believe in, after decades in which no government, including Netanyahu’s, has applied sovereignty over an inch of Israeli land. But it will also not hand over territories. Such a government will also not be able to initiate a momentum of reforms that I very much want in the justice system, after many years, including during the Likud governments, in which there was not a single reform to curb judicial activism.”

He added that he is holding conversations with the various factors in order to form such a unity government.

“We invite any party that accepts the government’s guidelines. Certainly also the Likud, Smotrich and the haredi parties,” wrote Bennett. “Will there really be a unity government? I do not know, but we will know soon. It depends on a lot of compromises and concessions of all the partners, and the conditions I have specified are met.”

The Likud said in response to Bennett’s remarks, “Bennett wants to be Prime Minister at all costs, including at the expense of crowning a left-wing government. A government that boycotts 52 seats of the right and is made up of 50 seats of the left, the far left and the Joint List is not a unity government but rather a left-wing government with a tiny right-wing fig leaf.”

Source: Elad Benari – Arutz Sheva