With no coalition in site, threats and insults are what the public is hearing coming from the various Israeli political parties.
Bennett’s Jewish Home (HaBayit HaYehudi) is holding steadfast in their alliance with Yair Lapid’s Yesh Atid party in negotiations with the Likud, and this alliance is apparently frustrating Netanyahu to no end.
Sources say that Bennett doesn’t trust any of Netanyahu’s offers, particularly when he repeatedly only learns of the offers from pollster Minah Tzemach on the news, days before he actually hears of the offer from the Likud. In response to the poor treatment he’s getting, a source in the Jewish Home party allegedly said that the Jewish Home is no longer the Likud’s lapdog.
Bennett, who has an acrimonious history with Netanyahu, was also the last party leader that Netanyahu reached out to talk to, and that includes the radical leftwing party, Meretz.
Ma’ariv reports that the Likud is threatening to go back to elections if Bennett doesn’t agree to join the coalition with the Chareidi parties.
Reportedly, the Jewish Homes response was that Netanyahu is “shooting blanks”, and that if elections were held today, the voters would punish the Likud down to 12 seats for not first going with their natural partner, the Jewish Home.
The Likud made what some consider a generous offer to the Jewish Home, but in the Jewish Home party they suspect that Netanyahu wants to play Lucy to their Charlie Brown, and pull the offer away from them at the last minute as Shamir did in 1988 to the Hareidim, and the goal is only to break the Bennett-Lapid alliance, and get one for a cheaper price. That they only heard of the offer on the news days before they heard of the offer directly from the Likud, didn’t help the Likud’s credibility
On Channel 2 they are reporting that Netanyahu plans to first create the coalition with HaTnua, Shas, UTJ, and Kadima, and only then invite Jewish Home in, leaving Yesh Atid out.
Other rumors flying around is that if Jewish Home joins without the Ultra-Orthodox parties, the Hareidi parties will retaliate with a “Price Tag” attack, and will vote for dismantling outposts and settlements.
During the elections, the religious parties, particularly Shas, crossed a number of red lines and severely disparaged the Jewish Home party.
Bennett has turned out to be the cornerstone of the coalition. Jewish Home can sit with Lapid in the coalition, or they can sit with the Hareidim, while Lapid can’t sit with the Hareidim without destroying his credibility. And with those restrictions, there simply can’t be a coalition without the Jewish Home party.
This provides Bennett with a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to empower the Jewish Home party like never before, and take back some of the powers grabbed by the Ultra-Orthodox over the years and give it to the National-Religious.
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