More coalition upheaval: Bennett’s spokesperson quits

First to quit was the prime minister’s senior aide, then his chief of staff – and now it’s his spokesperson, Matan Sidi.

By Aryeh Savir, TPS and World Israel News Staff

Prime Minister Naftali Bennett’s office experienced another upheaval on Monday when his spokesman Matan Sidi announced the end of his term, the fourth departure of a senior aide from Bennett’s team within a month.

Sidi served since the formation of the government about a year ago as head of the communications department at the Prime Minister’s Office and as the prime minister’s personal communications adviser.

Prior to that, Sidi served Bennett for about five years as his advisor before his was prime minister.

Sidi will be succeeded by the Bennett’s political spokesman, Yotam Ben Yitzhak.

Later in the afternoon, Sidi released the following statement:

“Four years ago the Prime Minister gave me the opportunity of my life, and since then I have had the privilege of being at his side at all junctures, the successes and the challenges that our common path has placed before us. I have had the privilege of assisting him and being a partner in the difficult, round-the-clock work for the Israeli public, in all the positions in which he has served. From him I have learned love of the people and the land, public mission and – mainly – withstanding the pressures and fighting for your beliefs when your heart is in the right place.

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“The time has now come to turn to new directions and challenges. I would like to thank the Prime Minister for everything and to wish him great success in his dedicated work for the Israeli public.”

Last week, Bennett’s personal assistant Naomi Sasson announced her resignation. The Prime Minister’s Office sustained another significant blow last month when his chief of staff Tal Gan Zvi announced his departure.

Gan Zvi has been with Bennett for close to a decade, since 2013, and is considered one of his closest aides and confidants. An individual with right-wing beliefs, he was apparently not happy with Bennett’s government coalition that includes the Islamist Ra’am party and the extreme left-wing Meretz.

This dramatic development occurred just weeks after Shimrit Meir, Bennett’s top diplomatic adviser, resigned, reportedly over political differences.

Bennett’s Yemina Party spokesman Oved Perl was the first to leave on May 12.

Three of Bennett’s former party members, MKs Amichai Chikli, Idit Silman and Yomtob Kalfon, no longer support him.

Bennett, who has been in power for less than a year, has been facing repeated upheavals among his staff, his party and the coalition in general. Most analysts estimate that it’s only a question of time before the government falls.

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