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Bennett to Netanyahu: ‘Let go. Let the country move forward’

Raoul Wootliff is the The Times of Israel's political correspondent.

Yamina leader and Prime Minister-designate Naftali Bennett speaks at the Knesset, June 6, 2021. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)
Yamina leader and Prime Minister-designate Naftali Bennett speaks at the Knesset, June 6, 2021. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

In a public address from the Knesset, Yamina chair Naftali Bennett says, “In a few days, we will swear in a government.”

Hitting back at criticism of the move from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Bennett said, “A change of government is not a catastrophe, not a disaster, but an ordinary and normal event in every democratic state.”

“The regime in Israel is not a monarchy, and nobody has a monopoly,” he says, promising that “the new government will stand the test of the public… There is a good spirit and a desire to get to work as soon as possible.”

He decries the well-oiled machine “trying to break” members of the “change coalition” and prompt their defections, and protests what he says is Netanyahu’s encouragement of the no-holds-barred effort, including following MK Irit Silman in her car with megaphones, at risk to her life, and scaring her children on their way to school.

Addressing Netanyahu directly, Bennett says: “Let go. Let the country move forward. People are allowed to vote for a government even if you’re not heading it.”

Incidentally, he says, the incoming government is “10 degrees to the right” of the current one.

He urges Netanyahu, “Don’t leave scorched earth behind you” and adds: “All of us, the whole people, want to remember the considerable good you’ve done.”

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