‘Change bloc’ officials urge Bennett to join them in government

Leaders in the so-called “change bloc” claim they can form a government — if Yamina’s Naftali Bennett signs on, Channel 13 reports.

“The government is almost sealed. We’re waiting for Bennett,” an unnamed official says.

Yesh Atid head Yair Lapid has eight days remaining to form a government via his mandate from the president.

He is racing against the clock — against the coalition math — to cobble together a coalition in time, but admitted on Monday that it may not be possible.

Yamina party leader Naftali Bennett (left) and Yesh Atid leader Yair Lapid during the swearing-in ceremony of the 24th Knesset, at the Knesset building in Jerusalem, April 6, 2021. (Marc Israel Sellem/Pool)

Bennett backed out of coalition talks with Lapid two weeks ago as the fighting with Hamas was underway, although Bennett is widely believed to still prefer a unity government with the center-left to a fifth election.

An easily formed coalition of Yesh Atid, Blue and White, Labor, Yisrael Beytenu and Meretz would only have 45 seats.

To reach the majority required to vote in a government, Lapid must include some combination of right-wing parties Yamina and New Hope, or the Arab-majority Joint List and the Islamist Ra’am party — a difficult task in the best of times and considered near-impossible in the immediate aftermath of the Gaza fighting.

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