Netanyahu, Smotrich vow to persuade Bennett not to form ‘left-wing’ gov’t – The Jerusalem Post

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Religious Zionist Party leader Bezalel Smotrich agreed on Thursday evening to work together to convince Yamina leader Naftali Bennett not to form what they called a “left-wing government,” a Smotrich’s spokesman said.
Smotrich met with Netanyahu at the Prime Minister’s Residence in Jerusalem, immediately before Netanyahu met there with Bennett. In what was seen as a charm offensive to woo Bennett, Netanyahu invited him to the residence for the first time in more than a decade, when the prime minister’s wife Sara banned him due to a personal dispute.
When arriving at the meeting, Bennett told reporters “I am arriving here with a lot of good will, and I promise to do everything I can to save Israel from the chaos and form a good and stable government for the State of Israel. This is the time for national responsibility.”
Sources close to Bennett said he would tell Netanyahu that he was not afraid of forming a government with the anti-Netanyahu bloc and that a fifth election was not an option. 
Smotrich’s spokesman said he told Netanyahu to try to get Bennett to woo New Hope leader Gideon Sa’ar. 
Sa’ar turned down an offer from Netanyahu’s political bloc on Thursday to enable Netanyahu to form a temporary government.
According to the proposal, which was first reported by KAN Radio Knesset correspondent Ze’ev Kam, Netanyahu’s term would be set for a predetermined period of time and all the parties in bis bloc would agree to never join a government led by him again.

Bills would be passed setting term limits for prime minister, and the parties would tell Netanyahu that it would be his only option to stay in power. Sa’ar would be given credit for ending Netanyahu’s political career.
Sa’ar rejected the idea, saying his party’s view against joining a government led by Netanyahu was clear no matter how the question was asked.
One of his party’s MKs went further, sending laughing emojis in response to the proposal and comparing it to what Blue and White leader Benny Gantz accepted last year..
“These are the kind of solutions that Gantz likes,” the MK said. “He can tell you what happens after [such a deal is signed].”
Netanyahu has until May 4 to form a government under the mandate given to him by President Reuven Rivlin on Tuesday. 
If Netanyahu fails, Rivlin is expected to give the mandate to Bennett or Yesh Atid leader Yair Lapid to form a government together with Sa’ar’s support.
“An egalitarian government with special arrangements is what is needed,” Sa’ar said on Tuesday.

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Netanyahu, Smotrich vow to persuade Bennett not to form ‘left-wing’ gov’t – The Jerusalem Post

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