‘Change gov’t more right-wing than Netanyahu,’ says Bennett

Bennett repeats claim that change-bloc government will be more right-wing than current government headed by Netanyahu.

By Lauren Marcus, World Israel News

During a speech on Sunday evening, prime minister-designate and Yemina party chair Naftali Bennett told the Israeli public that the so-called change government would be more right-wing than the current government headed by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Bennett’s decision to join forces in a diverse coalition that includes centrist, left-wing, and an Islamist Arab party has drawn significant backlash.

Netanyahu has accused Bennett of perpetrating the largest fraud in democratic history and betraying right-wing voters by partnering with the left.

Calling on Netanyahu to “let go” of Israel, Bennett said that the premier should step back and let the nation “move forward.” He said that the country is allowed to have a new government in which Netanyahu is not at the helm.

“A government, which, by the way, is 10 degrees to the right of the current government,” Bennett added.

The remark came after his speech last week, in which he announced his intention to join the change bloc.

“The truth is that this will be a slightly more right-wing government than the current one,” Bennett said at the time.

“The left is making not-insignificant concessions — giving me, a former head of the Settlers Council and a man of the Land of Israel, the post of prime minister, and my friend Gideon Sa’ar, a firm right-winger, the post of minister of justice.

“We have not budged from our values. This is not a government that will disengage [from settlements], will not relinquish land, and also won’t be afraid to carry out military operations when needed. The political context won’t stop us,” he said.

Continuing his speech this Sunday, Bennett said, “This is not a catastrophe, this is not a disaster. This is a change of government, something normal that occurs in every democratic country. Israel’s government is not a monarchy. Nobody has a monopoly over the government.”

Referencing a rare Saturday warning from the Shin Bet that public discourse against the change government could lead to murder, Bennett said that Israelis have the right to express their displeasure with the political situation as long as they keep their criticism non-violent.

“There are people opposed to this government and its existence, and that’s fine. It’s okay to write about it, talk about it, protest over it. Not every [publicly expressed] opposition to this government is incitement,” he said.

But, Bennett alleged, Netanyahu had launched a “harassment campaign” against Yemina and New Hope MKs that had crossed the line.

He said that Yemina MK Idit Silman’s car had been followed a full day by cars with loudspeakers blaring, including on the highway where such a distraction is “life-threatening” and scared her children.

Netanyahu also condemned incitement on Sunday, adding that “for a long time there have been calls against us … threatening calls including detailed calls to murder myself, my family, my wife” and that those calls were met with “silence, almost complete silence in the general discourse and the media.”