Netanyahu, Bennett meet: 'Now is the time for national responsibility'

Yamina chairman, PM meet to discuss efforts to form a right-wing government.

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

Naftali Bennett
Naftali Bennett
Yonatan Sindel/FLASH90     

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu met Thursday night with Yamina chairman Naftali Bennett to discuss efforts to form a right-wing coalition.

Before entering the meeting, Bennett said that "since the election, countless Israelis have appealed to me, really begging me, to get the State of Israel out of this ongoing chaos. I come here with a lot of good will and I pledge to do everything I can to rescue Israel from the chaos and form a good and stable government for the State of Israel. This is the time for national responsibility."

Bennett is believed to support in principle the formation of a minority government led by Netanyahu which would be reliant on outside support from the United Arab List (Ra'am) and would attempt to pull defectors from the New Hope and Blue and White parties.

The meeting is the first held between Netanyahu and Bennett at the Prime Minister's Residence in several years since the Netanyahu family began to boycott Bennett and Ayelet Shaked.

Earlier, the prime minister met with the chairman of the Religious Zionism party, Bezalel Smotrich. After about two hours, the meeting ended and Smotrich's office said: "The prime minister and Smotrich agreed that every effort should be made to persuade Bennett not to dismantle the national camp or go to the left, and to bring more partners to the right-wing government."

Joint Arab List chairman MK Ayman Odeh completely rejected that his party could assist or support the formation of a government led by Yamina chairman Naftali Bennett.

"Absolutely not," Odeh declared in an interview with Nas Radio. "We do not just want to replace Netanyahu, we want to change Netanyahu's policy. Does it make sense to replace Netanyahu with Bennett, the father of settlements and racism? We will not replace a racist with another racist."

Meanwhile, MK Bezalel Smotrich, chairman of the 'Religious Zionism' party, proposed a solution to the political stalemate which could cause Israel to initiate a fifth election: Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu stepping down to run for president and Likud Minister Yariv Levin being appointed prime minister in his place.



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