Bennett Says He’ll Sit In The Opposition To Avoid A Third Round Of Elections

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Yamina Party member Naftali Bennett attends the Srugim conference in Jerusalem on Sept. 2, 2019 (Photo by Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

JERUSALEM (JNS) — New Right Party leader Naftali Bennett said on Saturday that he would be prepared to sit in the opposition if it meant an opportunity to help Israel avoid a third round of national elections.

In an interview with Israel’s Channel 12 on Saturday, Bennett said, “If I am an obstacle to forming a government, I release Netanyahu from any commitment to me and to the New Right and am ready to sit in the opposition. The main thing is to get a government established.”

Israel’s 55-member right-wing bloc, led by Netanyahu, have refused to meet with Blue and White leader Benny Gantz since he was handed the mandate to form the government last month. Instead, they have insisted on having Likud negotiate on their behalf.

Gantz, who has insisted that Netanahu’s right-wing bloc is preventing him from forming a government, has attempted to deal with the parties comprising the bloc individually, but the haredi and religious parties have refused to meet with him.

According to a Channel 13 report on Saturday, Bennett and New Right member Ayelet Shaked may have been offered two choice ministerial posts in exchange for joining a 55-member minority government along with Labor and the Democratic Union.

On Friday, Channel 12 reported that Netanyahu is weighing bringing Bennett back into his Cabinet, following a warming of the relationship between the two.

Netanyahu had fired Bennett from his post as education minister and Shaked from her position as justice minister in April, after the two failed to pass the threshold to enter the Knesset. However, the move was also seen as an indication of cooling of relations between the parties.

Bennett told Channel 12 on Saturday that he had not received such an offer from Netanyahu.

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