Bennett Says He Rejected Netanyahu Offer of Ministerial Post in Transitional Government

The Hayamin Hehadash chair, who Netanyahu fired ahead of September's election, says he was also proposed a spot on the security cabinet

Naftali Bennett, left, and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the Knesset, March 12, 2018.
Emil Salman

Hayamin Hehadash Chairman Naftali Bennett said on Monday evening that he rejected Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's proposal to become a minister in his transitional government and a member in the security cabinet.

Bennett said he told the premier that he wasn't interested and that "there was no need."

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The two spoke Monday evening following a meeting of the heads of the right-wing parties. Netanyahu has yet to respond to Bennett's statement.

Following the April election, in which Bennett's slate did not pass the electoral threshold of 3.25 percent, Netanyahu fired Bennett from his position as education minister. At the same time he also sacked Bennett's political partner, former Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked. The two ran on a joint ticket with the Union of Right-wing Parties in the country's second election this year in September.

They garnered seven Knesset seats but split into a three-member faction after the swearing-in ceremony. 

The leaders of all the right-wing factions clarified earlier on Monday that they will not join a minority government. "In light of the security and national challenges, the chiefs of the National Union factions are asking Kahol Lavan Chairman Benny Gantz to establish a broad unity government according to the president's plan, and avoid an unnecssary election," they stated. They also reiterated that they would only join a coalition as a block, and not separately.