Netanyahu, trying to turn the heat up on one of his key rivals, calls on Yamina leader Naftali Bennett to pledge that he will not join a government with Yesh Atid leader Yair Lapid after the election.
The centrist Lapid is perceived by many hawkish voters as being too far to the left of Netanyahu to be a viable partner in a coalition government, but Bennett has not ruled out a coalition with him, making the potential partnership a weak spot for Bennett that the prime minister has sought to exploit.
“I am making a commitment to establish a broad right-wing coalition without a [premiership] rotation and certainly without Yair Lapid,” Netanyahu says in a video shared by his Twitter account. “Now it’s your turn, Naftali Bennett: Commit to a government without Lapid in any role and without a rotation. Commit.”
Bennett responds by mocking Netanyahu’s own questionable record of keeping election promises as well as his many left-wing political bedfellows over the years.
“So I must say,” he tells a right-wing conference, “that hearing the word commitment from Netanyahu is a bit like making [former Health Ministry director and vocal coronavirus skeptic] Yoram Lass the face of the campaign against the coronavirus.”