Bennett says he's ready to go to opposition, and then withdraws comment

In Facebook comment that was later removed, Bennett said ahead of coalition negotiations that Beyit Yehudi could serve the people from the opposition.

March 26, 2015 10:40
1 minute read.
Naftali Bennett

Bayit Yehudi leader Naftali Bennett. (photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)

Bayit Yehudi leader Naftali Bennett on Wednesday warned that he is not afraid of sitting in the opposition if he does not get what he wants in coalition negotiations, however he later withdrew the statement.

Bennett's comments came in response to a post from a supporter on Facebook, who wrote him, "Bennett don't go to the opposition."

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The Bayit Yehudi leader responded that he feared Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was pushing for a national unity government with the Zionist Union's Issac Herzog and Tzipi Livni. "Unfortunately, it seems that the prime minister intends to put in Buji/Tzipi, and is therefore skipping over us."

The Bayit Yehudi leader also criticized statements made by Netanyahu in recent days: "Netanyahu has also taken back his comments in which he said that he would not allow the establishment of a Palestinian state, and in general is shirking his nationalistic obligations. From the opposition, if that's what happens, we can serve the Jewish people with determination and belief."

The party confirmed that the post was written by Bennett and later removed.

Herzog strongly denied that there were any plans for the Zionist Union to enter a national unity government with Netanyahu's Likud, accusing Bennett of  "crying and threatening opposition in order to extort more settlements, more funds for organizations that he is close to, or a job as a minister through which he will endanger the interests of Israel."

Likud sources have denied claims by Bayit Yehudi that Netanyahu repeatedly promised Bennett one of the top three portfolios – Defense, Finance, or Foreign Affairs. Furious Bayit Yehudi officials accused Netanyahu of reneging on the deal.

Bayit Yehudi coalition negotiators were scheduled to meet with Likud representatives on Thursday. It will be the first meeting that Likud negotiators conduct on Thursday after a scheduled meeting with Kulanu's representatives was cancelled.

Kulanu leader Moshe Kahlon scrapped the meeting after he said the Likud leaked false reports that he gave up on several of his demands, including the chairmanship of the Knesset Finance Committee and the construction planning authority that is part of the Interior Ministry.

Gil Hoffman contributed to this report.


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