Daily Israel Report

Bennett and Lapid a Package Deal

Bennett and Lapid create 31-seat bloc, agree to join the coalition or be left out together.
By Maayana Miskin
First Publish: 2/14/2013, 12:15 AM

Yair Lapid and Naftali Bennett
Yair Lapid and Naftali Bennett
Flash90

Naftali Bennett and Yair Lapid have created a pact between their two parties, agreeing that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu will have either both of their parties in his coalition or neither, political sources have told Arutz Sheva.

Together, the two have 31 seats. Netanyahu’s chances of putting together a coalition without either party are not considered good.

Bennett and Lapid banded together due to a shared interest in preventing Netanyahu from creating a coalition that excluded one of them in favor of hareidi-religious or left-wing parties.

Netanyahu has reportedly responded by attempting to lure one or both leaders away from the agreement. His Likud party recently offered Bennett’s Bayit Yehudi (Jewish Home) party two ministries and other high-ranking positions if it would agree to join the coalition within two days.

The Jewish Home party rejected the offer.

The party’s coalition talks are being led by MK Uri Ariel. Ariel’s party in the last Knesset, Ichud Leumi, was reportedly mistreated by Netanyahu during coalition talks. Netanyahu allegedly implored party head MK Yaakov “Ketzaleh” Katz to recommend him as Prime Minister, and said Ichud Leumi had a guaranteed spot in his coalition, only to shut the party out of the coalition after he was chosen to lead the government.

Netanyahu did include the Labor party, at that time led by Ehud Barak, who had recommended his rival, Tzipi Livni, to be the Prime Minister.

Bennett has not confirmed the reported deal with Lapid, or the offers from Likud. Bennett said Tuesday night that he is not yet concerned with positions in the next government, but rather, is waiting to see what the coalition will look like.