Former PM Bennett hints at political comeback

Sam Sokol is the Times of Israel's political correspondent. He was previously a reporter for the Jerusalem Post, Jewish Telegraphic Agency and Haaretz. He is the author of "Putin’s Hybrid War and the Jews"

Former prime minister Naftali Bennett arrives at a cabinet meeting at the Prime Minister's Office in Jerusalem on October 23, 2022. (Alex Kolomoisky/Pool)
Former prime minister Naftali Bennett arrives at a cabinet meeting at the Prime Minister's Office in Jerusalem on October 23, 2022. (Alex Kolomoisky/Pool)

Former prime minister Naftali Bennett appears to hint at a return to politics, tweeting that it is possible to rebuild a wide unity coalition similar to the one he established with now-Opposition Leader Yair Lapid in 2021.

“Three years ago today, I took the oath of allegiance as the 13th prime minister of the State of Israel. For a little over a year, I served you, the citizens of Israel, when I was at the head of a government that up until that moment would have seemed impossible,” he writes in an lengthy post on social media platform X, noting that “ministers from the left and the right decided to put aside all the differences and come together for the sake of saving the State of Israel.”

“Today more than ever, the unimaginable reality in which we have been living since October 7 requires a leadership that knows how to unite the people and do the most basic thing that a government should do: to put the interest of the State of Israel before any other consideration, to act wisely in front of the international community, to bring all parts of the people into the circle of service and to conduct the campaign with clear goals until our enemies are defeated,” Bennett continues.

Though many Israelis are suffering from “existential anxiety,” he writes, “Even now when everything seems impossible, it is possible.” He adds: “Friends, we did it then, and you can do it again.”

Retweeting Bennett, Lapid quotes his statement, insisting that “with a professional government, real leadership and unity among us, it is possible, And much faster than you think. We will still establish a state here that is worthy of this people.”

A Channel 12 poll this March found that if Bennett and New Hope leader Gideon Sa’ar were to form a new party with ex-Mossad chief Yossi Cohen, it would take 17 seats in the Knesset.

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