Netanyahu: I prefer the haredim to Lapid and Gantz

PM Netanyahu says he would have preferred to have the haredi parties in his government in 2013, but Bennett forced him to sit with Lapid.

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

Binyamin Netanyahu
Binyamin Netanyahu
Hadas Parush/Flash90

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu made it clear Monday evening that he would not agree to a unity government and would prefer the haredi parties to a coalition with Blue and White leaders Benny Gantz and Yair Lapid.

Netanyahu made the statements in an interview with Larry Kalman of the haredi website Behadrei Haredim. The interviewers presented Netanyahu with the mock newspaper published by Hamabasher this morning as part of a campaign of intimidation that described a possible future under a Ganz-Lapid government with the haredim in the opposition.

The prime minister dismissed concerns over his having sat with Lapid in a previous government from 2013-2015, saying that he had been forced to sit with Lapid instead of the haredim by then-Jewish Home party leader Naftali Bennett.

"Why did I take Lapid last time?" Did I wanted to take him? It was because Bennett forced me in. I wanted to bring the haredi parties in. I fought for it until the last minute, but I could not stop it," Netanyahu said.

"Will they do this to me again? I do not know, but I will immediately turn to all the haredi parties to take them in. By the way, how many of your readers know that [the Blue and White party] is both Gantz and Lapid? People think that it is just Gantz, but after Gantz Lapid [will be prime minister]. It's a rotation. If you vote for Gantz or allow Gantz to win you will get a government led by Lapid.

Netanyahu made it clear that the Likud also includes haredi voters. "There are a lot of haredi voters and traditional Likud voters among the haredim, and that does not detract from others. We saw this already in the previous elections, and it could happen now, too."