New details about the tense meeting between Yamina MK Nir Orbach and Prime Minister Naftali Bennett earlier this week were revealed by Yisrael Hayom on Thursday morning.
According to the report, the meeting ended in a shouting match, with Orbach storming out of the office. He later announced that he will no longer vote with the coalition.
During the meeting, Bennett tried to convince Orbach to give him more time to stabilize the coalition. He also tried using the visit of US President Joe Biden next month to convince Orback to stay in the coalition, saying: “Can you imagine what will happen if Lapid will be the prime minister during Biden’s visit?” Bennett warned Orbach that Lapid will give in to all of Biden’s demands, insinuating that Orbach will be held responsible for torpedoing right-wing interests.
It’s quite interesting that Bennett, who himself signed a rotational agreement with Lapid enabling him to serve as prime minister, is using that very scenario to threaten Orbach.
According to coalition agreements, if a right-wing coalition member dissolves the Knesset, Lapid will automatically become the prime minister until a new government is formed. If a left-wing member of the coalition dissolves the Knesset, Bennett will remain the prime minister.
Orbach was not moved by Bennett’s tactics. According to the report, Bennett sent messengers to Orbach the next day in further efforts to convince him. Orbach did not respond.
Channel 12 News reported that Lapid is already anticipating serving as prime minister and has hired new staff members in preparation for the role.
(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)