Yair Lapid: I Offered Bennett First Term as PM in Israeli Unity Government
i24 News – Yesh Atid head Yair Lapid revealed Monday night that he had offered Israel’s former Defense Minister Naftali Bennett a prime minister rotation deal in which the right-wing leader would serve first.
“The test for a leader is to take tough decisions in complex situations,” the centrist lawmaker said at the close of a long day of prime minister nominations by the Knesset’s parties.
“We are committed to bringing about the change we promised to the people of Israel. To prevent a government led by a criminal suspect and dependent on racists and extremists,” Lapid stressed.
The Yesh Atid leader, whose party secured 17 Knesset mandates to Bennett’s 7, was referring to incumbent Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu who earlier on Monday appeared in court for his graft trial.
“Anyone who saw Netanyahu’s reckless performance today understands he can’t carry on in his job. He’s become dangerous. To himself, to Israel and to the rule of law,” Lapid charged from the podium in an address to the nation.
He continued by saying that ousting Netanyahu is the top priority for “all the parties and leaders who promised change.” Lapid asserted that the country needs a government that consists of parties from right, center and left, which “will reflect the fact that we live here together.”
According to an N12 report, in negotiations between Bennett and Lapid, the Yamina chair demanded that a shared government would be designated explicitly as center-right, with all alleged ideological posts filled by right-wing candidates: Yamina’s Ayelet Shaked as the public security minister, New Hope’s Gideon Sa’ar as the justice minister, and Yisrael Beiteinu’s Avigdor Liberman as the finance minister.