Bennett warns coalition MKs of fake news at pep rally

"There is no fake news item that won't be told. There is no political spin that won't be broadcast. It is all part of the game, and it is OK," said Prime Minister Naftali Bennett.

 Senior government officials at a coalition pep rally, October 29, 2021. (photo credit: Courtesy)
Senior government officials at a coalition pep rally, October 29, 2021.
(photo credit: Courtesy)

Prime Minister Naftali Bennett called upon the ministers and MKs in his governing coalition on Friday to “rise above the fray” and ignore attempts to divide them ahead of passage of the state budget.

Bennett spoke at a special pep rally for MKs and their spouses at Modi’in’s Ha’ahuza wedding hall.

“There is no maneuver that they won’t try against us,” Bennett warned. “There is no fake news item that won’t be told; there is no political spin that won’t be broadcast. It is all part of the game – and it is OK.”

Bennett revealed that German Chancellor Angela Merkel gave him advice about how to avoid political infighting by not believing reports about what people say about other people and by resolving disputes internally.

He then chided his two friends and political allies who have been in the headlines: Foreign Minister Yair Lapid and Interior Minister Ayelet Shaked.

 Senior government officials at a coalition pep rally, October 29, 2021. (credit: Courtesy) Senior government officials at a coalition pep rally, October 29, 2021. (credit: Courtesy)

“You can go in a room and fight a little bit, make up and then move on,” Bennett told them. “You don’t need a crowd, Ayelet and Yair.”

Earlier, Lapid wrote a message on Facebook about the need for the coalition to focus on its goals and “ignore background noises.” He said the government would pass a budget after years of neglect and work for the people of Israel.

Speaking to reporters outside the event, Lapid and Shaked downplayed reports on Shaked’s insults of her coalition colleagues in private conversations that were taped.

She approached Gantz at the event and apologized for what she said about him.

Gantz said he would do everything possible to ensure that the government would last through its entire term. He criticized opposition leader Benjamin Netanyahu for preventing the passage of the state budget last year.

Comedian Adir Miller performed at the event. Singer Einat Sarouf, who was supposed to lead a sing-along, canceled her scheduled appearance.

Environmental Protection Minister Tamar Zandberg (Meretz) joked that she was glad Bennett would not sing.

“The prime minister said that every time he touches a guitar, he loses a mandate, and he barely has any left to lose,” she said.

Right-wing protesters and socioeconomic activists demonstrated outside the hall in Modi’in.