Netanyahu to Bennett: There Will be No Unity Gov't

Prime Minister Netanyahu seeks to assure Jewish Home chairman that he will not form a unity government with the “Zionist Union”.

Ido Ben Porat and Elad Benari ,

Naftali Bennett and Binyamin Netanyahu
Naftali Bennett and Binyamin Netanyahu
Flash 90

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on Monday evening sought to assure Jewish Home chairman Naftali Bennett that he will not form a unity government with the joint Labor-Hatnua’s “Zionist Union”.

The comments came after Tzipi Livni, one of the heads of the joint list, announced that she was giving up her rotation agreement with co-chair Yitzhak Herzog, which would have had her serve as Prime Minister for half a term if the Zionist Union headed the coalition.

Responding to Livni’s announcement, Bennett claimed that the move is a precursor towards the establishment of a unity government between the Likud and the Zionist Union, saying, "Tonight the Bibi-Buji unity government was formed. We said this a few weeks ago and no one believed us. ''

“Just last night, Netanyahu attacked Herzog saying he is willing to divide Jerusalem, and tonight it turns out that he is establishing a government with him," Bennett added.

Netanyahu later responded by saying, "Bennett can relax. There will not be a unity government with the Labor party and such a government cannot be established. There are deep gaps between us.”

He added, “The only government we will form is with the parties from the nationalist camp. But in order for this to happen the Likud needs to close the gap with the Labor party - that’s the only way we’ll win.”

Right-wing politicians, a number of them from the Likud, took no time in expressing their ire at Livni’s announcement earlier Monday, particularly the fact it took place the night before elections. 

Netanyahu was similarly accusatory, telling Channel 2 that Livni and Herzog are in a panic over the narrowing gap (in the polls) between Likud and Labor. 

"This just proves how necessary it is to close that gap and win," the Prime Minister stressed. 

"Two things are evident: the first is that they are lying - either that they lied before or they're lying now. The second thing - they are unable to handle the pressure." 

"If they can't withstand the pressure of the polls, how will they be able to handle international pressure?" Netanyahu pondered.