Bennett, PM Meet for First Time Since Elections

First meeting to discuss preliminary plans to form a coalition; Bennett expected to ask for Defense, Foreign Affairs Ministries.

Hezki Baruch ,

Naftali Bennett
Naftali Bennett
Yonatan Sindel/Flash 90

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Jewish Home Chairman Naftali Bennett met Monday, for the first time since Netanyahu and the Likud party won a landslide victory in the 20th Knesset elections. 

Netanyahu and Bennett conducted preliminary negotiations for forming a right-wing coalition. Provided President Reuven Rivlin gives Netanyahu the power to form the government, official negotiations between the two will only begin Wednesday. 

While Jewish Home lost a third of its electoral power in the 20th Knesset, Netanyahu nonetheless promised that the party would be a major partner in the new coalition - a guarantee Jewish Home is counting on. 

Sources say that Bennett is asking for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs or the Ministry of Defense, and will also ask to retain his post as Religious Affairs Minister. 

Despite the constant promises from Likud, Jewish Home is still skeptical that Netanyahu could approach Labor-Hatnua to form a unity government. 

"We are opposed to a unity government. The nation made a definite choice," Shaked said during an interview with the Knesset Channel earlier in the day. "We warned that a small Jewish Home would lead to the danger there may be a unity government."

She was quick to add, however, that the likelihood of Netanyahu reneging on his word is slim - if nothing else, due to the inherent instability of a unity government. 



top