Netanyahu warns Israel could pay a ‘heavy price’ if no unity government formed

Prime Minister Netanyahu addresses Knesset members before the traditional group picture of party leaders and again calls for the formation of a “broad national unity government” to stave off a third round of elections in less than a year.

“We are not the only ones who suffer from this problem,” Netanyahu says of prolonged political gridlock. “But we cannot let ourselves suffer this problem. No one is as challenged as much as we are, no other country. And democracies that haven’t understood that you need to unite at time of danger suffer a heavy price.”

Netanyahu warns Israel faces major security challenges — namely Iran — which he says require the formation of a broad government.

“This isn’t spin, it’s not a whim, this is not ‘Netanyahu trying to scare us,'” he says.

Netanyahu lauds President Rivlin’s proposal for a unity government and references Elvis Presley in calling for the quick formation of a new government.

“I’ll quote an Elvis Presley song: ‘It’s now or never.’ But I’ll amend it a little — it’s now or later. The right thing to do now is to [finalize a unity government]. But if we don’t do it now, then [we’ll still have to do it] after I return the mandate, and Benny Gantz returns the mandate, and the final 21 days pass…”

President Reuven Rivlin sits for the traditional picture of party leaders following the swearing-in of the 22nd Knesset on October 3, 2019. (Raoul Wootliff/Times of Israel)

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