Coalition talks make significant progress – The Jerusalem Post

Yesh Atid revealed that its negotiating team had made significant progress toward forming a coalition when it met on Monday morning at Ramat Gan’s Kfar Hamaccabiah Hotel with Yisrael Beyenu, Labor and Blue and White. The parties said their leaders feel an obligation to reach their goal of forming a government that would replace Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Yesh Atid leader Yair Lapid told his Yesh Atid faction that chances of forming a government were still not high but he would “leave no stone unturned” in trying. To that end, Lapid met personally on Sunday with Blue and White chairman Benny Gantz, Labor leader Merav Michaeli and New Hope chairman Gideon Sa’ar.

“In the coming days I’ll do everything to form a government,” he said. “Anyone who wants to come and talk, my door is open. We’ll sit, we’ll talk, we’ll think together how to build the best possible government for the State of Israel and the citizens of Israel.” Lapid said he had not spoken to Yamina leader Naftali Bennett recently and that he thought coalition talks could continue until the last moment before his mandate ends on June 2. Yesh Atid is trying to finish the deals with every party except Yamina and then present Bennett with a government on a silver platter.
Nevertheless, when The Jerusalem Post asked Bennett’s number two, MK Ayelet Shaked, whether she thought a deal with her party could be completed in the week ahead, she said “I don’t see it happening.” Asked whether she felt an obligation to complete the process before the presidential election in order to allow President Reuven Rivlin to come full circle, she shook her head no.  Sa’ar told his faction at the Knesset on Monday that his party would not join a Netanyahu-led government. “Israel does not need more days and years of Netanyahu in power,” Sa’ar said. “It needs the opposite.”


Mocking Netanyahu for saying that “there are those who speak Right and act Left,” Sa’ar said the prime minister vowed to topple Hamas before he took over in 2009 and that he abandoned residents of development towns and the periphery. 

Michaeli said she was making every effort to form a change government in any possible way, meeting all the necessary party leaders, noting that they are all men. Speaking to her Labor faction, she said she would be happy if Bennett would join a change coalition and that she would consider speaking to Shaked, woman to woman, to close the deal. Meretz leader Nitzan Horowitz told his faction that their constituency wants to replace the government, without regard to the behavior of Bennett. 

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Coalition talks make significant progress – The Jerusalem Post

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