Bennett Calls on Netanyahu: 'Let Go, Allow Israel to Move Forward'

'Don't leave scorched earth behind you,' Bennett pleaded directly to the prime minister, as incitement continues to spiral against lawmakers from Yamina and New Hope

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Yamina chairman Naftali Bennett
Yamina chairman Naftali Bennett, last monthCredit: Ohad Zwigenberg

Yamina head Naftali Bennett called on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu "to let go and allow Israel to move forward," adding that "a violent machine is working to break Yamina and New Hope lawmakers."

On the day in which two more Yamina lawmakers were provided with additional security, Bennett condemned the "sponsored and directed operation, aimed at breaking [right-wing lawmakers] so that they will defect and vote against the new government." He added that "unfortunately, all means are kosher" in the campaign against them.

Addressing Netanyahu directly, he told the outgoing prime minister: "Let go and allow Israel to move forward...don't leave scorched earth behind you."

"People are permitted to vote for a government, even if you are not in charge. A government that is, by the way, ten degrees more right-wing than the current one," he added.

Bennett's remarks come after Netanyahu told his party members that "journalists are taking part in this propaganda machine that enlisted in favor of the left, but you don’t have to be afraid of laying into" right-wing politicians who Netanyahu said are teaming up with the left. 

Earlier on Sunday, Israel’s incoming unity government gathered for their first work meeting. Bennett describing the meeting as good-spirited. 

Despite disagreements and division within the party, Yamina party sources told Haaretz on Sunday that all their lawmakers except for Amichai Chikli will either vote in favor of the coalition or resign from the Knesset. Sources added that even Chikli will most likely support the coalition and remain a lawmaker.

At the first coalition meeting, the party leaders emphasized the need to swear-in a government as early as Wednesday in order to move the country forward.

In his address from the Knesset, Bennett also mentioned Knesset speaker Yariv Levin by name, and called on him to put the country over his party and to expedite the vote to swear-in the new government.

The anti-Netanyahu bloc fear that Levin, a member of Netanyahu's Likud, would try to delay swearing in the new government beyond the constitutionally accepted period of time.

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