New Hope leader Sa’ar rejected the offer immediately. and by late afternoon, the Yemina party, headed by Bennett, voted to join Lapid’s ‘Change’ coalition,
By Lauren Marcus, World Israel News
In an 11th hour maneuver to block a unity government headed by Yesh Atid’s Yair Lapid and Yemina chair Naftali Bennett, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has come up with a creative solution – a three-man rotation.
Veteran Likud negotiator Yaakov Atraktzi reportedly made an offer to New Hope chair Giden Sa’ar on Saturday evening, stating that Sa’ar could serve as prime minister for 15 months, followed by Netanyahu for two years. Bennett would finish out the remainder of the term.
The proposal was outlined in a letter made public by Netanyahu, and signed by the heads of the other parties in his right-wing block: Moshe Gafni of United Torah Judaism, Aryeh Deri of Shas, and Betzalel Smotrich of Religious Zionism.
“In an effort to end personal considerations and take unprecedented, far-reaching steps to guarantee the security and the character of the State of Israel and prevent the formation of a left-wing government that would endanger the state, we the undersigned party heads are making this offer,” the letter addressed to Bennett and Sa’ar reads.
Also included in the letter was a promise that this would be Netanyahu’s last term in office.
Sa’ar appears to have rejected the offer immediately, writing on his Twitter account, “Our position and commitment was and remains: to change Netanyahu’s regime. We will continue to act accordingly. A warm recommendation for the coming days: Ignore spins.”
By late afternoon, Yemina voted to join Lapid. But the proposal appears to have made waves in the party, as a faction meeting – in which Bennett was widely expected to discuss his willingness to join the unity government – was postponed by four hours.
Yemina MK Ayelet Shaked, who is number two on the party’s list, cancelled an appearance in Eilat scheduled for Sunday afternoon.