Yamina leader Naftali Bennett has been facing a storm of condemnation and outrage from his right-wing supporters for working toward a national unity government with left-wing and centrist parties.
In a Facebook post on Friday, Bennett acknowledged the personal political price he will pay for his decision but asserted that he is doing so in order to try to end the political imbroglio in Israel.
“You can imagine to yourselves that this is a complex time for me,” Bennett wrote. “It’s not pleasant to stand at the center of an organized attack.”
“I took on a difficult job, very difficult, of trying to end the political turmoil that Israel is stuck in after four indecisive elections and to bring the State back on track and work for its citizens.”
“I want to emphasize two things: First of all, this wasn’t my first choice. I tried my best to work with Netanyahu from the minute he received the mandate. Netanyahu failed. He didn’t succeed in convincing Smotrich to enter [a coalition supported by the Islamist Ra’am party] and the rest is known. We’re standing before two options, fifth elections or an honest attempt to establish a broad government.”
“The second thing is that I emphasize that we’re speaking about an attempt. The atmosphere is positive but the differences are not simple to bridge.”
“I think that it’s superfluous to note that I’m prepared to go far and pay a personal political price among my political base as long as a government is established. Its principle will be simple – goodwill – and an understanding that all the issues that have been disputed between the right and left for over seventy years don’t need to be resolved right now.”
“It’s possible to agree not to agree. But there are core principles that I’m not prepared to give up and red lines I won’t cross.”
(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)