Far-right party leader Naftali Bennett said he backs a unity government that would bring an end to Benjamin Netanyahu’s 12-year rule as the country’s prime minister.
In a nationwide address, Yamina party leader Naftali Bennett said he had decided to join forces with the country’s opposition leader, Yair Lapid. Bennett said his intentions were “to do my utmost in order to form a national unity government,” and with teamwork “we can save the country from a crisis and return Israel to its course.”
According to Bennett, his proposed government will not be one to do disconnections or give away territory. That the government won’t shy from embarking on military operations “if needed,” and that it would bring together factions from the right, the left and the center of Israeli politics.
Shortly after Bennett’s address, prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu accused Bennett of “committing the fraud of the century,” recalling that Bennett signed a pledge just before the March 23 elections that he would not allow Yair Lapid to become prime minister, not even via rotation while calling Bennett’s approach “a danger for the security of Israel.” Prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu concluded his announcement with a call to action for those to “stand up against the left-wing government, and with God’s help we’ll together establish a right-wing government for the good of all of Israel’s citizens.”
Upon agreement, Bennett will serve first as prime minister until September 2023 then Lapid will serve until the term ends in November 2025.
While the parties have little in common politically, they are united in their eagerness to see Netanyahu’s time in office come to an end. Lapid has until Wednesday to inform President Reuven Rivlin that he has succeeded in forming a unity government after a fourth inconclusive election in two years.