At rally of supporters, Netanyahu calls on right to unite and ‘return home’ to Likud


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At rally of supporters, Netanyahu calls on right to unite and ‘return home’ to Likud
Originally planned to address recent terror wave, Jerusalem event shifts to focus on coalition crisis; ‘Israel needs a strong government,’ former PM tells thousands of backers
By Tobias Siegal
6 April 2022

Opposition leader Benjamin Netanyahu attended a right-wing rally held in Jerusalem on Wednesday evening, calling on right-wing lawmakers in the coalition “to return home,” amid a coalition crisis that has revived his hopes of toppling the government and returning to power. The rally, attended by thousands of right-wing activists, was originally meant to protest the rampant violence that has recently swept the country, with a wave of deadly terror attacks not seen in years. But dramatic events unfolding since Wednesday morning shifted the focus of the event toward internal politics, with Netanyahu calling on Prime Minister Naftali Bennett to resign and urging unity among right-wing lawmakers.

Earlier Wednesday, MK Idit Silman, a member of Bennett’s Yamina party and the coalition whip, announced she was quitting the coalition, citing the continued “harming” of Jewish identity in Israel as the main reason for her defection. Her departure left the coalition without a parliamentary majority, and put it in immediate danger of collapse. Addressing the right-wing rally, Netanyahu struggled to start talking, with demonstrators chanting “Bennett, go home.”