Minister Yoaz Hendel claims he was pressured by Minister Benny Gantz to form a government with the support of the Joint List after the third round of elections.
Speaking to activists in Givat Shmuel on Sunday, Hendel said, "I was invited to several conversations. They told me it was possible, that it was only one vote. Today we know that it is impossible to form a coalition with the Joint List, it is ideologically wrong and cannot work practically. Despite the attempts at the persuasion and the threats, I did not agree."
"I insisted on a unity government. The lesson from that government is to make sure that no guarantees are taken from Deri and that Netanyahu is not allowed to bite when he is first in the rotation. A unity government can work when it is put together correctly," Hendel added.
When asked why he agreed to form the current government and not join a narrow government headed by Netanyahu, he replied, "We are against a narrow government headed by Netanyahu and also headed by the center-left. Helping Netanyahu make up 61 [seats needed to form a government] is very bad for the State of Israel. A government that is preoccupied with a French Law cannot deal with the cost of living and governance."
"On the other hand, what do the center-left say? 'We will form a broad government.' How? How does it work numerically if you don't sit with the Joint List and the haredim won’t sit with Liberman and Meretz? What they don't say is that they want a war of attrition. That is to say, we'll get to an election, Bibi will not achieve 61. Then we will go to another election when there is a left-wing government headed by Lapid and then to sixth and seventh elections. I think this is not right for the State of Israel. We have a working plan to get Israel out of this mess. We are the only ones offering something practical," Hendel said.