As PM, Bennett will be "hitting the ground running" during first 100 days

Jeremy Saltan says that with Naftali Bennett as PM and with veto power in the agreement, the new government will push right-wing agenda.

Yoni Kempinski ,

Jeremy Saltan
Jeremy Saltan
Arutz Sheva

Israel’s new unity government composed of a broad coalition of parties from across the political spectrum was not something anyone really expected, Yamina’s Jeremy Saltan said.

But it’s the best case scenario out of the two options available: a unity government or a fifth election.

Speaking to Arutz Sheva in an exclusive interview, Saltan said that while protests against the right joining the coalition, against Naftali Bennett’s decision to join, are going on in the streets, he sees that there are also many people who support the agreement.

“This is something that I don’t think anyone really expected, that this would be the final outcome,” he said. “But it became a choice between this and a fifth election. There really is no third alternative.”

He said that when people say they are against the plan, he asks them, “What are you afraid of? What are your fears?”

It’s important for people to know that the agreement will be released in full transparency 24 hours before the vote to establish the coalition. Everyone will have enough time to read it and study it.

Also, Yamina has equal veto power – along with the other parties in the coalition – to stop anything not written in the agreement.

How does he respond to the accusation that thanks to Bennett the left is now in power?

Saltan answers by asking if people want another election. He said that polls showed that if a fifth or a sixth election took place, in a worst case scenario due to the splintering of the parties on the right, the left could form a government all on its own.

“And then we’ll be in a much worse place.”

He noted that criticism of Bennett for saying in campaign videos that he would never join a Lapid government and then joining such a government are misplaced.

That wasn’t a major campaign promise.

Their two major campaign promises were for Bennett to be Prime Minister and to avoid a fifth election.

They fulfilled both of those. And he said that “this is why you don’t have our entire voter base against us.”

He said that they will be “hitting the ground running” during their first 100 days in office.

“There’s a lot of good things for our constituency and for other constituencies in the coalition agreement,” Saltan said. “W’re going to be accomplishing as much as we can in terms of what’s in the agreement.”

After that, they can address other issues.

They also have veto power to make sure they can block any left wing initiatives not in the agreement.

It will be a true unity government that will have to govern by a true consensus.

“This is the first time in Israel’s history that we’re going to have a true unity government,” he said. “(A government) where all segments of the Israeli population are going to be represented.”

Speaking on the subject of whether former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will stay on to lead the opposition, and whether in a post-Netanyahu era, the Likud might join the government, Saltan did not want to speculate.

However, he said that “we’re not there yet.” He also didn’t expect Netanyahu to step down. He believes Netanyahu will lead the opposition for now.

“What happens after he leaves? I really think all options are open. But I don’t see that being something we’re going to be taking about in the next year or so.”