Bennett says ‘divisive’ Netanyahu unsuitable as PM, but won’t rule out cooperation


Staff member
Bennett says ‘divisive’ Netanyahu unsuitable as PM, but won’t rule out cooperation
Outgoing PM says he hasn’t decided whether he’ll run again in next elections; Shaked said to have exhausted all efforts to form an alternative coalition in existing Knesset
By TOI staff
25 June 2022

Prime Minister Naftali Bennett insisted Friday that his predecessor and opposition chairman Benjamin Netanyahu is unsuited to once again hold the premiership, but clarified that he would not rule out sitting in a future government headed by the Likud leader. Bennett, who gave several interviews to Hebrew media, said he has not decided whether or not to run again. He is instead focused on preparing Foreign Minister Yair Lapid to replace him as interim prime minister, as per their coalition agreement, he said.

Bennett and Lapid announced their decision on Monday to advance legislation to dissolve the 24th Knesset after just one year in power due to their inability to keep their narrow, yet politically diverse coalition, together any longer.

Bennett’s decision to form a government with Lapid, the left-leaning Meretz faction and the Islamist Ra’am party exposed him to criticism from his right-wing base, after he had campaigned on avoiding such partnerships. He justified the move by noting that he also pledged to act to avoid a fifth consecutive election and that banding with the diverse parties — whose main point in common was a desire to replace Netanyahu — was the only way for him to pull the country out of the election cycle.