Yamina leader Naftali Bennett responds to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s offer that he become prime minister first in a rotation deal.
“I heard Netanyahu’s offer now, but it’s unclear. I didn’t ask for the premiership, but for a government — and this, unfortunately, he doesn’t have, because [Religious Zionism leader] Smotrich burned the bridges leading to a right-wing government,” says Bennett, referring to the far-right leader’s refusal to enter a government propped up by the Islamist Ra’am party.
Bennett says he still prefers to form a right-wing government over a coalition with centrist and left-wing parties and is willing to make compromises to reach that goal.
But he says Netanyahu is seeking to pin his own failure to form a government on Yamina.
And he refuses to commit, per Netanyahu’s ultimatum, to not forming a coalition with the Likud leader’s rivals.
“If Netanyahu doesn’t manage to form a government, we will form a unity government,” he says, referring to a coalition with centrist, left-wing and right-wing parties. “The most destructive thing for Israel is more elections.”