With only a day left until his mandate to form a government expires, Kahol Lavan leader Benny Gantz continues his attempt to secure a coalition, while Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud claiming that a Gantz-led minority government backed by the country’s Arab parties would be a „national attack on the State of Israel.“
The survey, commissioned by Army Radio, showed 49% of Israeli-Arab citizens supporting the Joint List, made up of four separate Arab parties, backing Gantz from outside a coalition government even if it includes secular right-wing politician Avigdor Liberman, head of the Yisrael Beiteinu party.
„There is an agreement among Kahol Lavan [leaders] to go for a minority government with the Joint List. We know for a fact that they made this decision,“ the prime minister claimed in an emergency meeting he held with Likud lawmakers.
Moreover, the two main inciters, Netanyahu and Lieberman, are exploiting both the tense security situation and their polished racist rhetoric to put enormous pressure on Gantz to enter a unity government based on the president’s proposal. Gantz, who until now has demonstrated impressive steadfastness, must not cave into this pressure. Soon, the dense smoke of the rockets will dissipate, and Israel will once again be overshadowed instead by the picture of the serial criminal suspect Netanyahu, the man who is unfit to be prime minister.
Likud, however, seeks to have Netanyahu remain in office for a year or until his trial begins.
In addition, Gantz said: “Instead of security considerations dictating political behavior, political and personal considerations are dictating security considerations.”
Netanyahu took particular umbrage with that statement, shaking his head vigorously when Gantz made it and using his right to respond in the Knesset to deny it.
In principle, the candidate whom the president grants the right to form a government does not need a majority of 61 to do so. All that is really needed is a situation in which more hands vote in favor of the government than oppose it.
“As the prime minister of Israel I shall aspire and act to turn this rally into an official rally shared by all of Israeli society,” said Gantz, who was asked in October to form the next government, after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu returned his mandate to President Reuven Rivlin. “I want this square to be balanced, for all the streams to find their place in it and to sincerely mourn this debased murder.”
„What has been happening in the past few days must be stopped,“ Gantz said. „It’s unacceptable that while we are talking about [forming] a government to rehabilitate diplomacy, to back the Israel Defense Forces, to empower the law enforcement institutions and safeguard a free press, Netanyahu, who is in charge of all these systems, is spreading blatant messages against them.“
Kahol Lavan leader Benny Gantz met on Thursday with the leaders of the Joint List, an alliance of four Arab-majority parties, as part of his effort to form a governing coalition after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu failed to do so.
Yair Lapid, the No. 2 on the Kahol Lavan roster, said at the party meeting that a government can’t be created in the space of 48 hours, and that all Netanyahu had to agree to was to be second in the rotation – i.e., to agree that Gantz serve as prime minister first, then Netanyahu. But what Netanyahu wants is a third election, Lapid said.
“That’s what his lawyers suggested to him, that’s what he needs because of the indictments,” Lapid said.
White House senior adviser Jared Kushner met Benny Gantz, the leader of the Blue and White party, for the first time on Monday in Jerusalem.
Why it matters: This was the first meeting between Kushner and Gantz, who has 23 days to form a government. It shows that the Trump administration is adapting to the new political reality in Israel.
According to reports in the Hebrew media, Gantz could offer Netanyahu a “compromise deal” that would force him to choose between including his religious allies in the coalition, and being prime minister first in any rotation deal.
The political whirlwind and the desire to avoid another election might cause Gantz to forget the reason his party won 33 Knesset seats and became the largest political party in Israel, namely that the people are sick and tired of Netanyahu. They are sick not only of the abundant criminal accusations now under review at a hearing, but also of his corrupt and cynical politics, which have put his personal survival above any other value, and in the name of which he has pitted parts of Israeli society against each other.
Israel’s president tasked Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday with assembling a new government after power-sharing talks with his strongest rival, Benny Gantz, failed following an inconclusive election.
Yes, this initiative of yours, Mr. President, is very grave indeed! You are dividing the country on an ethnic basis, you are placing one people above another, one public above another, one group above another, when your job is to say loud and clear: They are all my sons. And for this you do not have a mandate. You do not have a mandate to divide the country between Jews and Arabs. You do not have a mandate to exclude a fifth of the population.
Less than a week after his impressive electoral achievement, the head of the largest Knesset faction, Kahol Lavan leader Benny Gantz, conceded his right to be the first to try and form a coalition government. The explanation given by “party sources” for this concession is that Gantz prefers to wait for Netanyahu to try first and fail.
Regrettably, this lame excuse is unconvincing. This move looks like a capitulation without a fight, an admission that the right wing’s long-standing tactic of delegitimizing parties representing Arab society succeeded.
Netanyahu getting a first nod from the president would land a harsh blow on the center-left’s morale, which could facilitate Netanyahu’s plan to divide the party from within. The nightmarish vision of Netanyahu settling back in the driver’s seat and recklessly pushing the gas pedal to reach his target would make a mockery of his clear-cut defeat in last Tuesday’s election. While Gantz and his colleagues rejoice over sucker Netanyahu supposedly falling into their well-laid trap, their supporters will see them as naive novices who could soon add insult to injury by reneging on their main pledge not to participate in his coalition.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (L) shakes hands with Blue and White party leader Benny Gantz (R) as President Reuven Rivlin looks on, at the President’s Residence in Jerusalem, on September 23, 2019.
Diskin’s remarks followed a furore over comments made on Wednesday by Israel’s serving military chief, Benny Gantz, which starkly contrasted with Netanyahu’s rhetoric on Iran. Gantz said he did not believe the Iranian leadership was prepared to „go the extra mile“ to acquire nuclear weapons because it was „composed of very rational people“ who understood the consequences.
The Israeli military chief described the Iranian government as “rational” in interviews published Wednesday and said he did not believe it would build a nuclear bomb, appearing to put some distance between himself and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak.
“I believe he would be making an enormous mistake, and I don’t think he will want to go the extra mile,” the chief of staff of the Israeli Defense Force, Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz, told the left-leaning newspaper Haaretz, referring to Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
The Israeli government has done everything in its power to reject those of us who are Arab Palestinian citizens, but our influence has only grown. We will be the cornerstone of democracy.
Rare move by Joint List in bid to ‚end the Netanyahu era‘ could give Kahol Lavan leader first chance at forming coalition ■ Lieberman: ‚Joint List members are enemies‘
All eyes are on Yisrael Beiteinu’s Avigdor Lieberman and the Joint List, comprised of four Arab-majority parties, in order to gauge Kahol Lavan leader Benny Gantz’s chances at unseating Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Neither parties have announced officially whether they would recommend Gantz to the president, and are expected to make their decisions public later Sunday.
In 1992, Knesset members from Hadash and the United Arab List backed Yitzhak Rabin, who wasn’t their cup of tea, as prime minister. This eventually led to the allocation of significant funds for the benefit of the Arab community – without mentioning the mutual recognition between Israel and the PLO, and the Oslo Accords.
Gantz’s Blue and White Party have 33 seats to Likud’s 31 in the latest standings from Tuesday’s do-over election, according to Israel’s Central Elections Committee.
Election officials say tallies won’t be absolutely final until they have investigated the ballots at 15 polling stations where there were suspected voting irregularities.
Gantz responded to Netanyahu’s request by saying he would only lead a „liberal“ coalition, a statement which excluded the ultra-Orthodox political bloc on whom Netanyahu has relied throughout his tenure.
Moshe Yaalon, another Blue and White leader, added that the party would not enter into a coalition led by Netanyahu because of the corruption charges against him.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s chief rival, Benny Gantz, declared victory after near-final vote tallies on Thursday showed his party slightly widening a narrow first-place finish in this week’s parliamentary elections.
Netanyahu did not challenge Gantz’s declaration.
Ganz hatte seinerseits im Wahlkampf ausgeschlossen, als Nummer zwei hinter Netanjahu in die Regierung zu gehen. Staatspräsident Reuven Rivlin, der einen weiteren Wahlgang unbedingt vermeiden will, begrüßte umgehend Netanjahus Aufruf. Ganz kündigte eine Erklärung noch vor Mittag an.
Nach der Parlamentswahl in Israel hat sich Ministerpräsident Benjamin Netanyahu für die Bildung einer breiten Einheitsregierung ausgesprochen. Die Ergebnisse zeigten, dass er die von ihm versprochene rechtsgerichtete Regierung nicht bilden könne, sagte Netanyahu in einer Videobotschaft.
Parliamentarian Aymen Odeh told Army Radio Wednesday morning he would consider supporting Netanyahu’s chief political rival as official results trickling in continued to solidify a strong showing for the coalition of Arab parties.
The chairman of the Joint List of Arab parties, Ayman Odeh, said Wednesday that he may recommend Blue and White leader Benny Gantz as the next prime minister when he meets with President Reuven Rivlin.
Gantz has already reached out to him, Odeh said, adding that “on Wednesday afternoon, we will decide which path to take.”
As of Wednesday morning, Gantz had already reached out to Ayman Odeh, leader of the Joint List, the conglomeration of four Arab parties that scored remarkably well in Tuesday’s election, securing 12 seats.
Netanyahu’s recent announcements, like a pledge to annex parts of the West Bank he made three days before the April 9th elections, have barely registered in the campaign of Blue and White, the centrist party co-led by Generals Benny Gantz, Moshe „Bogie“ Ya’alon, and Gabi Ashkenazi (all former chiefs of the Israeli Defense Forces) along with former finance minister Yair Lapid
A large majority (76%) of those surveyed supported Hadash MK Ayman Odeh’s declaration last Friday, August 23, that he would join a moderate-center government; 65% of those asked expressed their full support for the Joint List joining a coalition headed by Kahol-Lavan (Blue & White); and 20% responded they neither support nor oppose the such a move.
Youssef Makladeh, the CEO of Statnet, told Maariv: “This isn’t new; past surveys have indicated that the Arab community in Israel is more interested in more pragmatic leadership that will work towards solving more acute issues, such as curbing the spread of violence, [achieving] building permits [for Arab towns], [developing local] infrastructure and sewage management [for their places of residence].” Makladeh added, “For the first time in a decade, an Arab leader has thrown the ball into the court of the Jewish parties.”
Vote left, vote right, just don’t vote nothing. The nothing of Kahol Lavan isn’t merely nothing, it’s an actively destructive nothing. It suffocates any possibility of providing an alternative and eliminates any hope for change.
Speaking to the press in Tel Aviv, the three leaders of the Democratic Union – MK Nitzan Horowitz, MK Stav Shaffir and former prime minister Ehud Barak – also took Blue and White to task for what they described as its right-wing policies, arguing that the party would not replace, but instead participate in, a right-wing government.
“He wanted us to split up Blue and White and offered to bring us in under all kinds of conditions,” he said. “He offered me anything I wanted in return. But still, we stuck to our principles.”
Gantz added, though, that had Netanyahu “offered a rotation deal where I was prime minister first, then there would have been something to talk about.”
Tell me, Kahol Lavan, have you lost your minds? Did you get sunstroke? Were you blinded by the neon lights at the office of your political strategist Moshik Teumim? This is your election campaign – war before everything?
The right-wing Likud maintains a razor-thin lead over Blue and White, projected to win 31 seats in the Israeli parliament (Knesset) compared to the centrist party’s 30 seats if elections were held today, according to a joint poll between i24NEWS and Israel Hayom.
Despite the emphasis on its place in Israeli politics, the alliance’s campaign tactics can leave voters bewildered.
„Netanyahu pressed the button for the Knesset dissolution and there is no turning back,“ Gantz says in a statement to the media from Tel Aviv. „Netanyahu sees (election) polls and invents lies.“
Netanyahu and Blue and White party co-chairman Benny Gantz are reportedly not personally involved in any negotiations over a unity government.
Blue and White issued a statement reacting to the report, saying, “There is only one option for cancelling the elections: Netanyahu steps down to deal with his legal issues and Blue and White will lead a wide government.”
Also, back in April, neither Kahol Lavan chairman Benny Gantz nor leading party figure Gabi Ashkenazi bothered to attend the seminar for new MKs, meant to prepare them for working in the Knesset.
Taken together, these reports paint an unflattering picture of an amateurish, disorganized, lazy opposition party. Despite the military background of some of its leaders, formulating a strategy and pursuing it with determination and consistency doesn’t appear to be the party’s modus operandi.
Israel wählt heute ein neues Parlament. In Umfragen liegen die Likud-Partei von Premier Netanyahu und das „Blau-Weiß“-Bündnis von Ex-Armeechef Gantz gleichauf.
Blue and White (Kahol Lavan) Party leader, Benny Gantz said that his party is „half a metre from winning,“ in Tel Aviv on Monday, as parties scrambled to rally last-minute voters for the upcoming national election. „Friends, we need two more seats, and we must have two more seats. It is only a few tens of thousands of people,“ Gantz said.