Prime Minister Naftali Bennett reportedly told his close associates that he took full responsibility for his colleague Yamina MK Idit Silman’s resignation from the coalition – a move that ended the government’s slim majority in the Knesset, paralyzed its ability to pass legislation and left it close. potentially collapse – adding that his strategy towards his party “did not work.”
According to Channel 12 News, Bennett is beginning to realize that the tensions between him and the other Yamina legislators stem not only from a lack of attention on his part, but also from differing opinions about the essence of the party.
Channel 12 said that since hiring Shimrit Meir as its diplomatic adviser, Bennett has taken a more centered approach, which could have been one of the main sources of unrest in Yamina.
“There were good results, but the strategy did not work in the end,” Bennett told his advisers at a recent meeting, according to the report. “The responsibility ultimately lies with me. Now we have to think about how we solve it.”
During the meeting, Bennett is explicitly said to have promised a more nationalist direction, both in terms of discourse and in actions that Knesset members from Yamina could present to their public – to lead to an improvement in the current situation in the party.
The report said Bennett was also upset by some of the left-wing and centered members of his coalition, who refused to tone down their positions, making it increasingly difficult for right-wing partners to hold their stomachs.
This apparent change in direction came after Silman clarified earlier Sunday that she does not intend to back down from her dramatic decision last week to leave the coalition.
“My decision to end my time in the coalition was based on values, and therefore it is final,” she said in a statement.
The apostate MK urged his colleagues “to express the views of the majority of the Israeli public and to establish a national Zionist government in this Knesset.”
Silman’s departure leaves the government with only 60 of 120 seats. In the opposition, there are 54 MKs led by MK Benjamin Netanyahu plus another 6 MKs on the joint list of primarily Arab parties who are opponents of Netanyahu. Thus, despite the fact that the government now lacks a majority, it is not immediately apparent that there is a majority to overthrow it.