Yamina MK Abir Kara is claiming Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud party offered him a ministerial post and guaranteed spot on the Likud election slate if he bolts Yamina, according to Hebrew media reports.
In WhatsApp messages sent to fellow Yamina members, Kara says an envoy for Netanyahu invited him to meet secretly this afternoon with the Likud leader and he was told to enter via the back door so no one would see him, according to the Ynet news site.
Kara, who led a protest group representing independent business owners, also says he was promised whatever he wants for these businesspeople. But he turned down Netanyahu’s offer.
The Yamina lawmaker also sends a letter to Netanyahu in which he notes the Likud leader’s failure to form a government after the March 23 elections and calls on the prime minister to join a government led by Bennett.
“The Yamina party announced in advance that it will enter a right-wing government and unfortunately instead of dealing with assembling a right-wing government, you dealt with personal insults toward Naftali Bennett. Too bad,” Kara writes.
Likud subsequently denies Netanyahu or anyone on his behalf made any offer to Kara.
“This is Bennett’s ridiculous spin that is meant to distract from him galloping toward a left-wing government with Meretz and Labor in contrast to all his promises to the voter,” a Likud statement says.
The report comes after Yamina MK Amichai Chikli said he wouldn’t back the prospective unity government that Bennett is negotiating with Yesh Atid chief Yair Lapid if it includes the left-wing Meretz or predominantly Arab Joint List.
Though Netanyahu has no clear path to forming a government and failed to assemble one in the 28 days he was given to do so before Tuesday night’s deadline, he has been calling on Yamina not to team up with Lapid in a bid to prevent his rivals from forming a coalition.