Bennett: Netanyahu offered me to enter the government

Yamina chairman says Netanyahu called him two weeks ago and offered him to join the government as Defense Minister but that he declined.

Elad Benari, Canada ,

Naftali Bennett
Naftali Bennett
Ori Cohen

Yamina chairman MK Naftali Bennett revealed on Friday that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu called him about two weeks ago and offered him to join the government. Bennett claimed he declined the offer.

"Netanyahu offered me to enter the government as Defense Minister. I could have accepted the defense portfolio, be the Deputy Prime Minister and receive three more portfolios," Bennett told Channel 12’s Ofira and Berkovic show.

Asked what he would do if he gets a call from Netanyahu after the upcoming election in which he is offered a ministerial position, Bennett replied, "Just like two weeks ago when Bibi did just that, I will tell him, 'Prime Minister Netanyahu, you have failed, you need to be replaced. You have to leave with dignity, let the next leader and Prime Minister rescue Israel because you can no longer unite the people.’"

However, Bennett would not commit not to be a part of Netanyahu’s government or that he would not invite Netanyahu to join his government should he be Prime Minister. Asked what he would do if he wins 20 seats in the next election, Bennett said, “Then I am the next Prime Minister because unlike all the other parties, I am the only one who neither boycotts nor is boycotted by anyone."

“The easiest thing for me to do would be to sit here, just as Yoaz Hendel and Hauser sat here and promise ‘anyone but Bibi’. Just like Orly Levy did and then she ran to Bibi’s government, and Amir Peretz and everyone. Gideon Sa’ar will join Netanyahu’s government too. What will he prefer? A government headed by Lapid and supported by the Arabs?”

Bennett added that he is willing to make concessions, even on issues he considers to be essential. "If they give me the power, I will form a government and put politics aside, including things that are important to me such as sovereignty. Yes, I, the father of sovereignty, would be willing to put that aside."

The Likud said in response, "Prime Minister Netanyahu is leading the Coronavirus Cabinet to the world's fastest vaccination campaign that will result in Israel being the first in the world to come out of the coronavirus. All of Bennett's proposals have failed worldwide, including in Europe, which collapsed into lockdowns with countless more dead than Israel."

Sa’ar said in response, “New Hope led by Gideon Sa’ar will continue to present its positions and plans for the future of Israel and it has no interest in being dragged into a campaign of slander and personal attacks."

(Arutz Sheva’s North American desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)