Naftali Bennett
Naftali BennettOlivier Fitoussi/Flash 90

Yamina chairman Naftali Bennett announced on Friday that he had begun efforts to form a national unity government.

In a lengthy post on Facebook, Bennett said that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu “has two practical options for forming a right-wing government. One is difficult to digest, but he is required to pressure [Bezalel] Smotrich in order to establish it, and the other requires Netanyahu to make a concession and serve as an Alternate Prime Minister for about a year.”

“Instead of choosing one of these two difficult options, Netanyahu chooses a third way: To drag the State of Israel to a fifth election, while campaigning aggressively and personally against me, as if I am a leftist, greedy for power, hate him, etc.,” added Bennett.

“From the moment I realized that Netanyahu does not intend to choose one of the two alternatives for forming a right-wing government, I began an effort to form a national unity government. In any case, the door to the right-wing government is open and desirable to me,” he stated.

Bennett added that there are two necessary conditions for such a unity government to be formed.

“The first condition - that we get the tools (veto rights, ministers, decision-making mechanisms) for a good, serious and functioning government to be formed. The second condition - that within the government we can maintain our principles and our national worldview.”

“I will be clear - such a unity government will not fulfill all my dreams, but it will be no less right-wing than Netanyahu’s governments with Ehud Barak, Tzipi Livni, or Avi Nissenkorn,” he stated.

Bennett conceded that “Such a government will not be able to apply sovereignty over parts of the Land of Israel, something I strongly believe in, after decades in which no government, including Netanyahu's, has applied sovereignty over an inch of Israeli land. But it will also not hand over territories. Such a government will also not be able to initiate a momentum of reforms that I very much want in the justice system, after many years, including during the Likud governments, in which there was not a single reform to curb judicial activism.”

He added that he is holding conversations with the various factors in order to form such a unity government.

“We invite any party that accepts the government's guidelines. Certainly also the Likud, Smotrich and the haredi parties,” wrote Bennett. “Will there really be a unity government?I do not know, but we will know soon.It depends on a lot of compromises and concessions of all the partners, and the conditions I have specified are met.

The Likud said in response to Bennett’s remarks, "Bennett wants to be Prime Minister at all costs, including at the expense of crowning a left-wing government. A government that boycotts 52 seats of the right and is made up of 50 seats of the left, the far left and the Joint List is not a unity government but rather a left-wing government with a tiny right-wing fig leaf."

(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.)