Former Defense Minister and current Knesset member Naftali Bennett told Israel’s Channel 13 on Monday night that there was “absolutely” no guarantee that he would join a Likud-led government in the event of a new round of elections.

Bennett heads the right-wing Yamina Party, which did not join the current coalition due to a dispute over portfolios.

Netanyahu “abjectly failed in dealing with the coronavirus and 1 million [unemployed] Israelis are paying the price,” said Bennett. “For four months, there was no plan in place. This is one of the worst governments in the history of the State of Israel.”

He also stated that although he opposes sending the public to the polls for an election in the middle of the current crisis, if the number of new coronavirus patients reaches 10 to 20 per day, “we should get rid of this government.”

Talk of what would amount to a fourth round of Knesset elections since April of last year has heightened recently, due primarily to a disagreement between Netanyahu and Defense Minister Benny Gantz over the time period of the national budget. Netanyahu wants it to be a one-year budget; Gantz, who heads the Blue and White Party that is in a national unity coalition with Netanyahu’s Likud, wants the budget to be for two years.

According to the coalition agreement, if the budget is not passed by Aug. 25, the Knesset will disband automatically and new elections will be called.

Support Jewish Journalism
with 2020 Vision

One of the most intriguing stories of the sudden Coronavirus crisis is the role of the internet. With individuals forced into home quarantine, most are turning further online for information, education and social interaction.

JNS's influence and readership are growing exponentially, and our positioning sets us apart. Most Jewish media are advocating increasingly biased progressive political and social agendas. JNS is providing more and more readers with a welcome alternative and an ideological home.

During this crisis, JNS continues working overtime. We are being relied upon to tell the story of this crisis as it affects Israel and the global Jewish community, and explain the extraordinary political developments taking place in parallel.

Our ability to thrive in 2020 and beyond depends on the generosity of committed readers and supporters. Monthly donations in particular go a long way in helping us sustain our operations. We greatly appreciate any contributions you can make during these challenging times. We thank you for your ongoing support and wish you blessings for good health and peace of mind.