Both Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu (Likud) and MK Benny Gantz (Blue&White) are reportedly courting MK Naftali Bennett (New Right), or at least spinning it as if they are.
Gantz may see Bennett as key to breaking up Netanyahu’s seemingly unbreakable right-wing bloc. Netanyahu, who has a very rocky relationship with Bennett, presumably realizes he needs to shore up his weakest link.
According to Channel 13, Gantz offered two ministerial seats to Bennett’s New Right party (which has only 3 members). If Gantz can break up Netanyahu’s bloc, the coalition-building game changes.
According to Channel 12, Netanyahu is considering offering Bennett a ministerial position in his current government, and quite possibly the position of Defense Minister, the position that Bennett has openly coveted for years.
In response to the reports on Netanyahu’s offer, Bennett said on a “Meet the Press” interview that he releases Netanyahu from any obligations he has to him and his New Right party. Bennett said he is willing to forgo joining the government [and will sit in the opposition] if he is the roadblock to forming a coalition. In that same interview Bennett said he did not receive any ministerial offer from Netanyahu.
Bennett added that both Gantz and Netanyahu need to climb down from their trees and start compromising, and that the most important issue right now is to form a government.