Bennett, Shaked backing away from opposition, sources say

Members of the opposition, or ‘change’ bloc, say that Yemina leaders Naftali Bennett and Ayelet Shaked “decided to destroy the change bloc.”

By World Israel News Staff

An unlikely alliance of Yemina, a party with staunch right-wing positions, and Yesh Atid, a center-Left party, together with anti-Zionist and left-wing Arab parties seems exactly that – unlikely.

For a time, it looked like the alliance was on the verge of success – and perhaps it still is – but political estimations now are that Yemina is withdrawing from its efforts to forge an opposition government, Israel Hayom reports on Monday.

Members of the opposition, or ‘change’ bloc, say that Yemina leaders Naftali Bennett and Ayelet Shaked “decided to destroy the change bloc.” They say that Yemina really intends to go with Netanyahu.

Bennett and Shaked deny this and say they are following the approach they laid out, in which they will work for a right-wing government but if that doesn’t work out they will try to form an opposition one. Their goal is to avoid a fifth election.

On Monday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu offered Bennett the first spot in a proposed leadership rotation. The hope is that the promise of the premiership will entice Bennett and enable another party leader, Gideon Saar of New Hope, to join the government. Saar has campaigned on the promise that he would not join a Netanyahu-led government.

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Saar has already said that even a rotational government where Netanyahu isn’t initially prime minister isn’t acceptable.

The impasse in which the country finds itself is not due ideological differences, but personal ones. Several party leaders have said they will not sit under Netanyahu. Their pretext is Netanyahu’s corruption trial, but their antagonism clearly extends beyond that.

In order for Netanyahu to form a government, he would need two defectors from other parties as one of his coalition partners, Religious Zionism, refuses join if it means relying on the outside support of Arab party Ra’am.

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