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Opposition MK calls for Netanyahu-led unity government

The call from National Unity MK Matan Kahana comes after Yesh Atid lawmaker Elazar Stern expressed a similar desire.

Then-Deputy Religious Services Minister Matan Kahana addresses the Knesset plenum, May 16, 2022. Photo by Olivier Fitoussi/Flash90.
Then-Deputy Religious Services Minister Matan Kahana addresses the Knesset plenum, May 16, 2022. Photo by Olivier Fitoussi/Flash90.

National Unity Party Knesset member Matan Kahana called Thursday for the formation of a unity government led by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, in the second such call by an opposition lawmaker this week.

According to Kahana’s proposal, Netanyahu would continue serving for two years before “retiring to his home in dignity” and making way for a successor following national elections.

The unity government would consist of Netanyahu’s Likud (32 Knesset seats), Yesh Atid (24) and National Unity (12), along with “anyone who agrees to accept the basic principles of the Declaration of Independence.”

On the outside looking in would be the Religious Zionism, Otzma Yehudit and the ultra-Orthodox, or haredi, parties (Shas and United Torah Judaism), which could hypothetically join the theoretical government if they accept various demands. It was unclear whether the Arab factions would be invited into the government.

“Do you really think there’s a better solution to the crisis in the country?” Kahana asked. “Such a [unity] government could heal the deep internal divide and make room for all parts of society in Israel.”

Kahana stressed that if such a scenario were “remotely possible,” National Unity Party chief Benny Gantz would “seriously consider it.”

On Monday, Yesh Atid lawmaker Elazar Stern also expressed a desire to join a Netanyahu-led unity government.

“I would be delighted if Netanyahu puts forward such an offer,” Stern said in an interview with Army Radio. “If he does, we will have a discussion.”

The comments come days after Stern’s party and opposition and Yesh Atid leader Yair Lapid said that joining a unity government with Netanyahu’s Likud would “ruin the country.”

Stern did not clarify whether his views are shared by other members of Yesh Atid.

Both Lapid and Gantz have repeatedly rejected the possibility of forming a coalition spearheaded by Netanyahu.

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