Bennett turns back on Lapid's change block

Naftali Bennett credit: Ohad Zwigenberg, Yediot Ahronot

Citing the tensions between Arabs and Jews within Israel, Yamina leader Naftali Bennett has resumed coalition talks with Likud.

The unity government is off the agenda: Yamina party head Naftali Bennett has decided to halt talks with the anti-Netanyahu "change block" and has returned to coalition negotiations with Likud. This is in the wake of the complex security tension between Jews and Arabs within Israel.

In private discussions today, Bennet said "In the light of the emergency situation in the mixed cities, a government of change with the planned make-up will not be able to cope. It needs force, sending in the army, and arrests, things that can't be done when you are relying on Mansour Abbas." In Bennett's view, the security agenda comes before the civilian agenda.

The negotiation teams of Likud and Yamina met today after a long stand-off, and it looks as though they are trying to put back in play Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's proposal for forming a government with Bennett at its head for the first year. Bennett would like to bring Gideon Sa'ar, Benny Gantz, and Yair Lapid into such a government with Likud, but there is pessimism in his circle over whether it can be done.

"Bennett informed me this evening that the change government is off the agenda, Ra'am chairman Mansour Abbas told Channel 12 News Mansour added that his party did not rule out support for a direct election for prime minister in exchange for demands on behalf of Israel's Arab population. Yamina denies that such a proposal was put to Ra'am. The Likud party refused to comment.

Published by Globes, Israel business news - en.globes.co.il - on May 13, 2021

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2021

Naftali Bennett credit: Ohad Zwigenberg, Yediot Ahronot
Naftali Bennett credit: Ohad Zwigenberg, Yediot Ahronot
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