‘I refused to rely’ on Arab party, says Netanyahu; blasts ‘biggest election scam in history’

“We are witnessing the worst election deception in the history of the state. People justifiably believe that they have been tricked,” the prime minister said.

By World Israel News Staff

Condemning incitement on both the Right and the Left, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu also slammed claims by his political opponents that he, too, was willing to bring the Arab Ra’am party into a coalition.

The razor-thin coalition cobbled together by center-left Yesh Atid leader Yair Lapid and the right-wing Yemina Party, led by Naftali Bennett, includes Ra’am.

“We are witnessing the worst election deception in the history of the state. People justifiably believe that they have been tricked. Their mouths cannot be forced shut,” Netanyahu said, referring to allegations of incitement by his supporters for vehemently opposing Yemina’s support for the new coalition.

“There’s not a person in Israel who would have voted for you if they knew this is what you were going to do,” Netanyahu said, accusing Bennett of betrayal following his announcement that he would join a Lapid government.

On Friday, Likud Party supporters protested outside Bennett’s home in Ra’anana, angry with his decision to go back on a pre-election promise never to sit in a government with the center-left Yesh Atid party led by Yair Lapid.

In fact, Yair Netanyahu, the prime minister’s son, had his Facebook and Twitter accounts temporarily blocked for having posted Yemina Party MK Nir Orbach’s home address, calling on opponents of the coalition to protest outside his home.

“Bennett sold the Negev to Ra’am!” Netanyahu wrote on his Twitter account, referring to demands from the party that included government recognition of illegally built Bedouin communities in Israel’s south along with a promise to stop enforcing the Kaminitz Law, which is aimed at stopping illegal building.

“If it looks like a Left and behaves like a Left – it’s a Left,” the prime minister said of the Yemina party.

Already in March, it became apparent that Ra’am head Mansour Abbas could become kingmaker, as both Lapid and Netanyahu were competing for his support.

Tzachi Hanegbi, a long-time Netanyahu loyalist, announced in a radio interview at the time that Likud was “ready to enter into negotiations with Mansour Abbas, even if he is in opposition.”

Another Likud member, Shlomo Karhi, slammed Hanegbi’s comments, calling him a “shame and disgrace.”