Netanyahu said that a unity government is the only way forward and gave three reasons why it must be formed quickly.
By World Israel News Staff
When Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu received the mandate at the president’s residence on Wednesday evening to form a coalition over his rival, Blue and White leader Benny Gantz, he freely admitted his chances of success were slim.
Netanyahu repeated that the “order of the hour is a unity government – a broad national unity government, and I say, quickly.”
The prime minister said there were three reasons that speed was of the essence, above and beyond the need for unity in order to bring about national reconciliation after a particularly tough election.
“We need to unite the nation, to patch up the rifts, because we stand before three enormous challenges,” the prime minister said.
The first he said was the security situation. Netanyahu said that everyone has witnessed the “chutpah” of Iran, which attacks throughout the region, most recently Saudi Arabia, and has struck Israel from Syria, Iraq, Lebanon and Gaza. Netanyahu said that Iran is working to spread its precision missile technology.
“To deal with this challenge, we need to combine forces because the nation needs to be united and prepared,” he said.
Secondly, Netanyahu spoke about the economic situation, linking it also to the challenge of Iran. He said that Israel would have to draw on enormous resources in order to face the Islamic Republic and to build the security apparatus necessary to defend against it in the coming years. “This too requires broad national agreement,” he said.
The third challenge the nation faces is an opportunity – “a one-time opportunity,” Netanyahu said, speaking of the possibility of annexing the Jordan Valley.
Netanyahu said that Israel has the chance to establish a secure eastern border through the Trump administration’s coming Mideast peace proposal and with international support. But he said that it could only be done with a unity government.
“The opportunity exists now,” Netanyahu said. “I don’t think there will be another opportunity.”
The prime minister said he would therefore “make every effort” to establish a unity government in which leadership would be shared.
He described a unity government as the only possibility going forward, “in his estimation.”
“It’s what the nation wants,” Netanyahu said.