Netanyahu calls on Bennett and Saar to join his coalition

In a brief press conference, PM urges the heads of Yamina and New Hope to 'come home' by forming a right-wing government with him; Saar brushes off Netanyahu's suggestion, while Bennett remains coy on his future
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday called on Naftali Bennett and Gideon Saar to join his coalition as he struggles to muster up enough Knesset seats to form a government.
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    בנימין נתניהו
    בנימין נתניהו
    Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
    (Photo: Kontakt)
    Yesh Atid head Yair Lapid, who has emerged as the leader of the anti-Netanyahu camp, has also called on Saar and Bennet to join the centrist bloc. Saar's New Hope and Bennett's Yamina parties have emerged as kingmakers as they hold enough seats to tip the scale for either side.
    In a brief press conference, Netanyahu urged his former allies-turned-rivals to "come home" by uniting under him.
    "It's no secret that we've had disagreements over the years but we have known how to overcome them and work together," he said. "Let's form a stable right-wing government that will last for years. Come back home to your natural place - the Right."
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    נפתלי בנט, בנימין נתניהו, גדעון סער
    נפתלי בנט, בנימין נתניהו, גדעון סער
    Saar, Netanyahu and Bennett
    (Photo: Ynet)
    He also said that any government that may be formed under Lapid would not last a long time.
    "Any other government that is formed will be an unstable left-wing government, set up in clear opposition to the vast majority that voted for Likud and right-wing parties. A government with extreme opposition can destroy all our achievements - and it will fall very quickly," he added.
    "The public gave the right-wing parties a clear majority with 65 seats. This makes it possible to immediately form a stable right-wing government. The challenges we face require a government - we must stabilize the economy, curb the Iranian nuclear program, strengthen settlements, sign peace agreements and bring more vaccines to our children so that we do not go back to lockdowns."
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    גדעון סער
    גדעון סער
    New Hope head Gideon Saar
    (Photo: AFP)
    Saar brushed off prime minister's calls, saying he will fulfill his election promise, which is not to join a government led by Netanyahu.
    "On the very day that him and his people began spreading perverted and false conspiracy theories against myself as well as President Reuven Rivlin, he appeals to me. The continued tenure of Netanyahu, who chooses his personal interests over the state's, harms Israel."
    Bennett was less categorical in his reply, saying what concerns him is the people and "not appointments". Bennett said he "will continue to make every effort to establish a good and stable government that will pull Israel from the chaos."
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