Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu is not returning the mandate to form a government to President Rivlin because he is awaiting a public statement by MK Avigdor Liberman (Yisrael Beytenu), according to which Liberman will oppose the establishment of a left-wing government relying on Arab votes from the outside.
Likud officials told Reshet Bet that after Liberman releases such a statement, Netanyahu will return the mandate to the president.
New Right Chairman MK Naftali Bennett last night called on Blue and White Chairman MK Benny Gantz to return to the negotiating table and form a unity government with the Likud, with Prime Minister Netanyahu first in a rotation. ''Under the circumstances created, a broad and equitable national unity government led by Netanyahu and Gantz should be established as soon as possible. Each side will have to compromise.”
"In such a government," Bennett noted, "the Right cannot apply Israeli law to Area C as I would like it to. The Left cannot hand over territory. There will be no pro-religious or anti-religious legislation. The government will deal with Iran, Hamas and Hezbollah, reducing the deficit, the state of the hospitals, the atrocious traffic jams, and further strengthening education - with life itself.''
He explained why Netanyahu should be the first in a rotation. ''Gantz must have a training period. The Prime Minister of Israel is the most difficult role on earth. We are not Belgium or Finland, which have room for error. A serious mistake by the Israeli prime minister could lead to a real catastrophe on the Jewish state. Gantz himself understands this.”
"If, Heaven forbid, a criminal trial is opened against Prime Minister Netanyahu, he will take a leave of absence, in accordance with the president's compromise, and the effective prime minister will be Gantz. That's common sense. By the way, I personally get no benefit from such a government. On the contrary - in such a broad government my personal power will not be great. But what matters is the good of our country. "