Barkat: If Netanyahu had stepped aside - the Likud would have formed a government

MK Nir Barkat is waiting for the day after Netanyahu to run for the Likud leadership, but also criticizes the outgoing PM.

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

Nir Barkat
Nir Barkat

Likud MK Nir Barkat publicly criticized outgoing Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and stated that if Netanyahu had held primaries for the party leadership and vacated his seat, a right-wing government would have been formed in Israel.

In an interview with Channel 12 News on Saturday night, Barkat was asked what he thought of Netanyahu's decision to propose a rotation to Gideon Sa'ar, Natftali Bennett, Benny Gantz and Aryeh Deri, but not to anyone from the Likud, and replied, "I think the Prime Minister erred in his judgment. If the Prime Minister had said 'I am stepping aside', and sought to hold primaries in order to lead the national camp, my assessment is that the national camp would have also united around the elected candidate."

According to Barkat, if Netanyahu had allowed such a move, "It would have been the Likud, together with the national camp, forming a government on Sunday."

Still, Barkat insisted he does not intend to act to oust Netanyahu at this stage: "I have announced that I will run after the Netanyahu era and that I will also win. I have not changed my mind. Once he decides to step down, I will be there and I will win."

5,000 Likud activists, branch heads, Central Committee members and Knesset members attended a conference held by Barkat this past Thursday. What upset some Knesset members was the timing of the conference - just three days before the Likud loses power.

One of those who did not like Barkat's conference was Finance Minister Yisrael Katz, who said that "never in the history of the Likud has there been any subversive action of this kind against an incumbent Prime Minister."

When asked about Katz’s remarks, Barkat replied, "This is an event that was planned in advance. And it came out at an interesting time. There is nothing subversive here. Quite the opposite. I come and show how we can return to power as soon as possible."