President Isaac Herzog asks the National Unity party why it won’t consider joining the emerging coalition in order to serve as a moderating force among its right-wing and religious parties.
He does so after the centrist party declines to recommend any candidate to form the next government.
“Citizens in the past hour have written to me and asked why the National Unity party won’t join the government,” says Herzog, elaborating that if that were to happen the government “will be broader and more stable, and it won’t turn to places that part of the public fears it will turn to.”
National Unity lawmaker Eitan Ginsburg says that in addition to his party’s lack of trust in Likud leader Benjamin Netanyahu after a previous unity government went south, the party does not believe that “it can be influential over the policies they want to advance.”
Ginsburg is an openly gay lawmaker, and a number of lawmakers from the far-right Religious Zionism-Otzma Yehudi — including its leader — have spoken out against gay rights, pushed to ban pride parades and are in favor of reinstating currently banned conversion therapy.