Former Communications Minister, MK Yoaz Hendel, on Monday spoke to Arutz Sheva about the situation of his party, New Hope, in the polls, and noted that there has recently been a stabilization and even a certain increase in its power.
Hendel said that a fake poll was circulated in recent days purporting to show a significant drop in New Hope’s seats, but an investigation revealed that no such poll had been conducted and that the data released was false. He added that he believes that more false reports and intimidation are expected in the next few days.
"I suggest concentrating on what is good and important for the State of Israel," said Hendel, who added that believes that most people are interested in change "and change can only be done today in the center-right."
Commenting on Naftali Bennett’s signing of a document in which he committed not to join a government headed by Yair Lapid, Hendel said this shows instability, since only about two weeks ago Bennett announced that he does not work for anyone and will not sign any document, and now is signing that he will go into a government with Netanyahu. "I very much hope that after the election we will bring Naftali to make a change as he himself promised when he talked about not functioning and how there is no budget, etc."
Hendel said he believes a change can only happen with Gideon Sa'ar and the New Hope party, which will unite Naftali Bennett on the one hand with other factors on the other. When asked if this means that a right-wing government will not be formed by them, Hendel wondered if a right-wing government means giving up on the Negev, supporting the disengagement, failing to evacuate the illegal Bedouin village of Khan al-Ahmar, etc.
As someone who pushed for the unity government, Hendel now claims that Netanyahu pushed for instability only because of his personal motives. "I do not care about what he needs but rather about what the state needs, and Naftali Bennett will make a mistake if he concentrates on what Netanyahu needs and not on what the state needs."
Accusing Netanyahu for being the one who led the country to four rounds of elections, Hendel said that he sees no reason to support the continuation of Netanyahu’s term and joining his coalition. He reiterated that he himself carried out "this experiment", and believed in the need to allow a unity government, but going with Netanyahu leads to budgetary and governance chaos. "Going with Netanyahu means a fifth election," he stated.
Hendel said that his party knows how to form an alternative government if Netanyahu does not have 61 seats, without having to consider the option of Ra’am leader Mansour Abbas.
"To me, Netanyahu's entire discourse is how to rescue Netanyahu, but that's not the point. We have an education system to rehabilitate and we have an economy to rehabilitate. In July everything will explode when the unpaid leaves conclude and there will be many unemployed without money and many businesses without employees, there is lack of governance in the Negev and the Galilee. At any point, you can see how Netanyahu wasted his time just to go to elections again and again."
As for the religious Zionist public, Hendel believes that this is a sector that is not in Netanyahu's pocket, adding that it is sad that parts of religious Zionism calculate their steps based on what is good or bad for Netanyahu.
"Netanyahu has done good for the State of Israel for many years, but in recent years he has lost it because he is preoccupied with his personal affairs. Anyone who has gone with him for a while and finds that he has deviated from the path and yet stays with him, that is not an ideology but a cult of personality and that is why New Hope did not sign allegiance to Netanyahu but to the State of Israel, unlike what religious Zionism did. For the first time, we broke the equation that Netanyahu equals right-wing," said Hendel.
In his opinion, the chances of Likud members defecting from their party are greater than the opposite possibility that Netanyahu has been hinting at for quite some time. He added that if Lapid will not be big at the expense of other parties, Sa'ar will be able to unite everyone.
"Likudniks can also wake up tomorrow morning and see that they do not have 61 and ask Netanyahu to let go," Hendel said.