Responding to supporters and opponents of his policy of coordinating entry into the government with Yesh Atid, Bayit Yehudi (Jewish Home) party head Naftali Bennett said Sunday that had the decision to enter into a “pact” with Yesh Atid not been made, Jewish Home would have been left out of the government, as this was Binyamin Netanyahu's plan all along.
Last week, both Bennett and Yesh Atid leader Yair Lapid declared that neither would join the coalition Netanyahu was trying to cobble together unless the other was included. The declaration has basically created an impasse in Netanyahu's efforts to create a government.
While the pact was a mutual decision by both parties, Bennett said that for Jewish Home, there had really been no choice. “Without this coordination, Netanyahu would have tried to form a government consisting of Tzippy Livni's Hatnu'a, Kadima, Shas, Yesh Atid, and the Likud, freezing out the National Religious movement altogether. Such a government would have followed a policy line dictated by Tzipi Livni, including giving up Jerusalem and Ariel, obsessive attempts to surrender land to the PLO, and so on. This is a fact,” Bennett wrote on his Facebook page Sunday.
“Our coordination has changed the political map, and forced the Likud to include us in the government,” Bennett wrote. “Thanks to this coordination, the government's focus will be social and economic primarily, not just political.” Instead of concentrating on deals with the PA, the government will focus on lowering the cost of living, the cost of apartments, improving education and values, enhancing the Jewish identity of the country, strengthening the Galilee and Negev, and so on.
Bennett stressed that Yesh Atid and Jewish Home had many points of agreement, as well as some disagreements. “We will concentrate on what we do have in common, which is substantial. We will not veer from our principles. The public will judge us during the next four years,” he wrote.