Bennett Confirms: I Won’t Join Netanyahu Government Without Lapid


anti-bennett-adHabayit Hayehudi’s Naftali Bennett confirmed publicly on Shabbos that he had reached a clear agreement with Yesh Atid party leader Yair Lapid that both parties would join Netanyahu’s governing coalition together – or not at all.

Bennett, who is set to meet with Netanyahu for coalition discussions today, said Lapid had already refused to join Netanyahu’s coalition without Habayit Hayehudi, and therefore Habayit Hayehudi must stick to its end of the bargain, and refrain from joining a coalition that does not include Yesh Atid.

“We agreed that Yesh Atid wouldn’t enter the government without Habayit Hayehudi and that Habayit Hayehudi wouldn’t enter without Yesh Atid,” Bennett wrote on his Facebook page on Shabbos. “When we reached these understandings, Yesh Atid was in a better position than us. We are out and they were in. Yair Lapid stood by his word to me and the public I represent. Now the tables are turned. Suddenly, Likud wants us without Yesh Atid. It’s our turn to stand by our word. A word is a word. I will stand by it.” Read more here.

{ Israel}


  1. He didn’t write it on shabbas. This is the best you have? False ad hominem attacks??? He wrote it Motzei Shabbas.

    This is precisely the kinds of tactics that make the silent majority of the frum community in America support Bennet,

  2. Dr. Martin Sherman served for seven years in operational capacities in the Israeli Defense establishment. He was a ministerial adviser to Yitzhak Shamir’s government and lectured for 20 years at Tel Aviv University in Political Science, International Relations and Strategic Studies.

    Protesting popular plenty?

    Poll after poll, both foreign and local, shows extremely high levels of satisfaction with life in Israel, well above that in most industrial countries. Important socioeconomic indicators are better in Israel than the average in the OECD countries. According to the OECD Better Life Index site: “Israel performs favorably in several measures of well-being, and ranks close to the average or higher in several topics in the Better Life Index… Money, while it cannot buy happiness, is an important means to achieving higher living standards. In Israel, the average person financial wealth is 47,750 USD per year, more than the OECD average of 36,238 USD.”

    Moreover, life expectancy – usually taken as an indicator of the level of a country’s healthcare – is almost 82 years in Israel, two years above the OECD average.

    Israel also scores higher on the prevalence of high-school education with 80% of adults aged 25- 64 having the equivalent of a high-school degree, above the OECD average of 74%.

    A cursory stroll through urban Israel will reveal that restaurants are full, cafes crowded, pubs jam-packed; the recreation industry appears booming, with beaches teeming in summer, the ski slope crammed in winter, rural byways swarming with off-road cyclists over the weekends, decked out with the latest equipment and accessories…. Nor are overseas trips the exclusive privilege of a wafer-thin layer of the “crème-de-la- crème.” Out of a total population of 7.8 million, millions of Israelis travel abroad regularly, spending billions of dollars on overseas trips.

    Against this backdrop of “popular plenty,” the eruption of “middle class” discontent, as reflected in support for Lapid’s principal electoral theme, seems oddly misplaced.

    After all, surely not all these diners, latte drinkers, late-night revelers, surfers, skiers, bikers, vacationers can be parasitic ultra-Orthodox, privileged settlers or plutocratic tycoons?

    The election results indicate the Israeli electorate has become dangerously detached from real challenges the nation needs to address.

    Bread & butter vs life & death

    Clearly, the major story of the elections is the extraordinary and unexpected success of Yair Lapid’s Yesh Atid (There is a Future) party which managed to win 19 (just over 15 percent) of the total 120 seats in Israel’s parliament, thus for all intents and purposes becoming a crucial power broker in the formation of any coalition.

    In his campaign, Lapid focused almost exclusively on alleviating the alleged plight of Israel’s middle class, studiously eschewing any reference to security and foreign policy issues, other than an occasional oblique allusion to Israel’s growing isolation in the international community and the need to address it.

    Shelly Yacimovich’s Labor Party, which won 15 seats, also assiduously avoided broaching matters of external policy, and confined its campaign attention to assailing Binyamin Netanyahu’s domestic record – albeit with far more “social-democratic” welfare-oriented emphasis than Lapid.

    We are compelled to the conclusion that in casting its ballots, a decisive portion of the Israeli electorate has given priority to issues of “bread and butter” over those of “life and death.”

    Disturbing drop in national adrenaline?

    The fact that such a significant portion of mainstream Israeli voters supported lists that not only deliberately downplayed – but made little pretense of intending to address – matters that impact the very survival of the state, seems to point to a dramatic and disturbing drop in the levels of “national adrenaline.”

    For given the immediacy and the intensity of the threats facing Israel, it seems almost inconceivable that the issue of who was best suited to deal with them played such a negligible role in the election.

    Indeed, it is difficult to avoid the conclusion that Israel’s electorate has become dangerously detached from the real challenges the nation needs to address.

    Don’t get me wrong. As someone who is light years away from tycoon status, I am keenly aware of the socioeconomic pressures the average Israeli citizen has to contend with. Indeed, I have my own (long) list of gripes regarding the dysfuntionalities of the Israeli establishment.

    Clearly, there is much to address on the domestic, socioeconomic front. Eminently plausible claims can be made for the need to restructure the tax system, make markets more competitive, streamline bureaucracy, raise salaries for specific professions and so on. But Netanyahu’s government was in many respects responsibly addressing these matters.

    Arguably more than any of its predecessors, it has been willing to challenge the monopolists/cartels and confront the “tycoons.” It oversaw the dramatic reduction in the cost of mobile-phones service and even went so far as to adopt the ethically suspect measure of retroactively raising royalties on the profits from the newly discovered marine gas fields – incurring (somewhat understandably) the wrath of the plutocrats.

    Success as reason for failure

    Paradoxically, it was precisely the Netanyahu government’s success that sowed the seeds of failure at the polls.

    On the security front – excluding the week-long Operation Pillar of Defense in Gaza – Israel is enjoying the longest period of calm for decades. This has relegated security concerns to the back of the public’s mind and allowed more mundane issues to dominate its agenda – unlike the situation under Yitzhak Rabin, Shimon Peres, Ehud Barak and Ariel Sharon when Palestinian terror wrought carnage on the streets of the nation’s cities and towns.

    Nor have the Netanyahu government’s achievements been confined to security. Indeed, it has stewarded the economy remarkably well through the dire global crisis that affected much of the industrial world far more seriously.

    Thus, hitherto largely untouched by the world economic crisis and accustomed to increasing consumption levels, Israelis are refusing to tailor their expectations to their means. But as talent (and luck) are not evenly distributed, it is unreasonable to expect an egalitarian reality in which the fortunes of all are similar. Greater prosperity has – inevitably – yielded greater inequality. Accordingly, keeping up with the Joneses is becoming increasingly onerous, with social pressures pushing many to live beyond their means.

    It is this growing resentment, coming not so much from the “have nots” but from the “want mores,” that generated much of the anti- Netanyahu sentiment. A cursory glance at the election results seems to indicate that Lapid fared better than the Likud mainly in well-to-do areas, but not in those that allegedly suffered from Netanyahu’s economic policies, where the Likud outperformed Lapid.

    Cause for concern

    I have attacked Lapid on numerous occasions, underscoring how he exploited his widely read Friday Yediot Aharonot column to propagate positions he himself later conceded to be merely mendacious manipulations.

    Thus, on the eve of the disengagment (June 24, 2005), he published a caustic castigation of the opponents of unilateral withdrawal.

    He warned darkly of the dire consequences and the unbridgeable rift that would result if they succeeded in persuading the public that the expulsion of Jews from Gaza should be aborted.

    Menacingly, Lapid declared that Israelis were tired of sacrificing their lives for the sake of the religious settlers, and that for the majority in the country, disengagement “appeared the last chance for us to live a normal life.”

    However, barely a year later (October 13, 2006), when the catastrophic failure of the disengagement was undeniably apparent for all to see, Lapid published a breathtakingly brazen follow-up, titled “Things we couldn’t say during disengagement.” In it he admitted it had all been a giant ploy: “It was never about the Palestinians, demography, and endeavor for peace, the burden on the IDF.”

    No, confessed Lapid, the real reason for imposing the deportation of Jewish citizens and destruction of Jewish towns and villages was…

    to put the settlers in their place, to teach them “the limits of their power” and show them who really calls the shots in the country.

    So be afraid, very afraid – perhaps the best we can hope for is early elections.

  3. From what I recall, Bennett also accepted the Torah at Sinai – that too was an agreement. How does he now help a cause that Gedolei Yisroel consider a gzeirah to Klal Yisroel???

  4. How come you don’t post comments from ‘Concerned’, and if you do, you edit them? I thought this is a forum for honest intellectual discussion?
    Am I mistaken?

  5. dr. eliach in her book about eishoshok writes that the Chofetz Chaim let it be known that we was not going to attend the chasuna of a child of a rav in a nearby town who had mizrachi leanings

  6. I don’t understand why everyone is bashing Bennett. He is simply insisting on keeping the promises he made during and after the campaign. Does ones’ word not count in Judaism? And he has prominent rabbis who are backing him. (And Lapid has two orthodox rabbis who were elected to the Knesset on his list.)

    If Lapid and Bennett are so awful, just form a coalition without them and let them be in opposition!