Naftali Bennett slams Netanyahu, declares he's running to become PM

"At the moment of truth, when we needed him most, he simply wasn't there," Bennett said of Netanyahu.

Naftali Bennett (photo credit: OURI KAHN)
Naftali Bennett
(photo credit: OURI KAHN)
Yamina leader Naftali Bennett slammed Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday night and, for the first time in his political career, announced that he is running to become Israel's next prime minister.
In a long speech at the Knesset, Bennett attacked the prime minister's management of the crisis caused by the novel coronavirus and said that while Netanyahu deserves Israel's thanks for his past actions, his time has come to step down. 
"At the moment of truth, when we needed him most, he simply wasn't there," Bennett said of Netanyahu. "We need to thank for his years of service, but we need to move on."
In announcing his candidacy, Bennett said "The time has come for change, Israel needs new leadership. Therefore, I am running for prime minister to finally bring that change, so Israel will have leadership that sees its citizens and not itself." 
Painting himself as Netanyahu's natural successor, Bennett said he had "the spirit of Entebbe," the city in Uganda, where Netanyahu's brother, Yoni, died in an operation freeing hostages. 
The Likud responded that Bennett's speech was "confused and annoying" and that Elkin was joining Sa'ar only because he had not entered the top ten in Likud and had not received the ministerial appointment he wanted from Netanyahu.