Israeli Education Minister Naftali Bennett gestures during a preliminary vote on a bill at the Knesset, the Israeli parliament, in Jerusalem November 16, 2016.
(photo credit: REUTERS/AMMAR AWAD)
Bayit Yehudi leader Naftali Bennett wants to be Israel’s next prime minister, he said on Reshet’s Meet the Press Saturday night.
Bennett has expressed these aspirations before, though this is his strongest public statement on the matter since Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has become embroiled in multiple corruption allegations.
“After the ‘Age of Netanyahu’ I plan to run for prime minister, and all the dramatic changes I have made in the education system I plan to bring to security, economics and all areas of action,” the education minister said.
“Since I began public action, I have tried to do everything for the country. I did it in the past and will do it in the future.”
“I have broad experience in business, economics, government and security, and I plan to use all of it,” he added.
Bennett denied the rumors that he plans to merge his Bayit Yehudi party with the Likud in order to have a better platform from which to run for premier.
Today, he explained, Bayit Yehudi has a problem because it is seen as a narrow, niche party.
“I believe that what must be done with this platform is to open Bayit Yehudi to new publics, to all of the people of Israel,” he said.
Still, Bennett is not rushing to bring about an election. “I think this is a good, nationalist government – a government led by Netanyahu, and it needs to be able to continue to rule,” he said.