Without waiting for the president’s decision, Yamina’s Naftali Bennett went on the air to call on all parties to joint a broad national unity government for “pulling the country out of its current mess” and avert a fifth election. They shared enough common ground to work together, he said. During Wednesday morning, opposition leader Yair Lapid gained 51 recommendations for his candidacy as prime minister, after Binyamin Netanyahu gave up on the task of forming a government. Bennett was, however, denied the support of his fellow right-wing and Orthodox parties and so had to make do with his own seven MKs. This boycott was ordered by Netanyahu to punish the Yamina for refusing to pledge not to join a left-of-center government in partnership with Lapid.
Bennet in his appeal said that this was the time for a fully functioning unity government to avert a disastrous fifth election at all costs. President Reuven Rivlin has three days either to announce a new prime ministerial candidate with Lapid out front, or refer the decision to the Knesset.