Senior Likud figures said Monday night that despite the party’s aggressive campaign against the Bayit Yehudi party, Naftali Bennett is expected to be a major partner in the next government, Yossi Verter reports.
Speaking on condition of anonymity, one high-ranking Likud figure told Haaretz that Bennett is “unequivocally” a central partner in the envisioned post-election Likud-led government. “The parties in the nationalist camp want [Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu as the premier and it’s good for us for them to be near him,” the source continued, adding, “All the reports about Netanyahu planning to form a government that will leave Habayit Hayehudi outside the coalition are incorrect. Bennett won’t have to apologize to his voters when he joins the government; they see it as a natural step. [Hatnuah head Tzipi] Livni or [Yesh Atid leader Yair] Lapid will go in, but they’ll have to apologize and to justify their remaining in the coalition by means of various accomplishments.”
Another senior Likud figure continued saying “The entire recent campaign is part of defining positions more sharply for the period of the election. We don’t see Bennett as an ideological rival. But the right’s voters must realize that the road to realizing the Zionist vision and the principles of the movement goes through a big party.”