Netanyahu begins effort to form right-wing gov't after Rivlin taps him


Staff member
Netanyahu begins effort to form right-wing gov't after Rivlin taps him
Bennett, Lapid negotiating in hopes of PM’s failure
APRIL 6, 2021

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will begin meeting with right-wing allies in his bloc on Wednesday and Yamina leader Naftali Bennett on Thursday in an effort to form what he called a “strong and homogeneous government.” President Reuven Rivlin reluctantly gave him the mandate to build a coalition on Tuesday. Netanyahu’s strategy will be to pressure both Bennett and Religious Zionist Party leader Bezalel Smotrich to join the coalition even if it is backed by Ra’am (United Arab List), headed by MK Mansour Abbas. One possibility is to have Yamina join while both Smotrich’s and Abbas’s parties back the coalition from outside. In a Likud faction meeting, Netanyahu told MKs that building a coalition would “not be an easy job, but is not impossible.”

“The goal is within reach, and I believe we can get there,” he said. Netanyahu vowed to stop the political paralysis. He said he would be “the prime minister of everyone,” and in a reference to New Hope leader Gideon Sa’ar, he called for an end to political boycotts. Bennett told his faction he would negotiate with Netanyahu. But he also hinted he would continue coalition talks for a government led by himself and Yesh Atid head Yair Lapid, saying he would do all he can to prevent a fifth election.