After Gantz -Netanyahu Meeting Fails To Break Impasse, Mutual Accusations Start Flying

Benny Gantz, head of Blue and White Party (left) and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, head of the Likud Party. Credit: Gili Yaari /Flash90 and Noam Revkin Fenton/Flash90

JERUSALEM (VINnews) — Last night’s meeting between Blue-And-White leader Benny Gantz and Prime Minister Netanyahu only served to demonstrate the widening gap between the two leaders’ approaches. Gantz is convinced that as the leader of the largest party, he has effectively won the elections and therefore must be prime minister first and establish the government that he wants, which will not include Chareidi parties or the right-wing National Union led by Betzalel Smotrich. Netanyahu on the other hand refuses to dismantle the bloc of 55 MKs he set up immediately after the election which includes those parties. He also demands to stay prime minister for the first year of the term even if an indictment is issued against him, since only if he is found guilty he is required to step down.

The result of all this is that, barring a dramatic turn of events today, there is no prospect of a unity government being formed. This leaves Gantz with just two options:  He can form a minority government of 56 MKs, including Avigdor Liberman’s Yisrael Beitenu party, which would be supported by the Arab parties from outside. (They refuse to sit in the government). Alternatively he could return the mandate to the president stating that he has not succeeded in forming a government, since the deadline for forming such a government is Wednesday evening. This would almost certainly lead to new elections.

In the meantime, mutual accusations have been flying between the two camps, both sides accusing the other of responsibility for the failure of the unity government. Netanyahu tweeted that “unfortunately Gantz refuses to accept the condition made by Liberman- acceptance of the presidential framework whereby I will serve first as prime minister. Liberman said that he would support the side that would not refuse. It remains to be seen whether he will maintain his commitment.”

Gantz responded by tweeting that “this morning we must state the truth, that Binyamin Netanyahu is the one refusing unity who is doing all in his power to push Israel into new elections for the third time in a year. Even today I call on Netanyahu to recognize the results of the elections, renounce the bloc and come to direct negotiations to establish the principles acceptable to the two big parties. I will be willing for concessions for the citizens of Israel without giving up on my principles.”

The Likud immediately responded to Gantz, stating that “on a day when the State of Israel is fighting regional terrorist forces, we hope that Avigdor Liberman will not collaborate with a minority government dependent on terrorist supporters. Gantz rejected the presidential framework and the conditions set by Liberman for making a rotation. Gantz told Prime Minister Netanyahu at their meeting that he intends establishing a minority government dependent on terrorist supporters. Gantz and Lapid shamelessly lied to their electorate when they said that ‘we will not negotiate with the Arab parties, we will not create a bloc together with them.’ Prime Minister Netanyahu was correct in his warning. A minority government like this is a danger to the state of Israel, especially at a time like this.”

Blue-And-White MK Yair Lapid tweeted back : “A new record. After refusing every suggestion for unity we offered him, Netanyahu says that ‘Gantz refused.’ This man has no limits. Liberman know the truth. Bibi is stuck to his Chareidi-messianic bloc and leading towards elections with all his might.”


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    • Let me rephrase that so its not fake news.

      “Netanyahu will not give up being PM he knows that he has the majorty of the Israeli population’s support. ”

      64 Mk’s including Liberman want Bibi. They just don’t want each other. If there were a general direct elections Bibi would win. Thus Bibi is doing the will of the people. The idea that the one with the most seats is automatically entitled is silly. Its only for brain dead people who don’t get the system. The system is such that one votes for small parties who support a bigger party candidate.

      And this is leaving out the fact that the 13 arab Mk’s don’t really count. they don’t recognize Israel’s right to exist.

    • If that’s true, then it’s quite an indictment of the Israeli judicial system, that as soon as a politician is out of power, he can be tried and convicted on flimsy or nonexistent evidence. Sounds rather like what you’d find in some corrupt South American country.

  1. Netanyahu is the one who is wrong here. If a unity gov’t is to be formed, then the 2 parties must negotiate between THEMSELVES and compromise finding common ground. By Bibi aligning himself with the Charedim/Religious parties even before negotiations started is plain wrong. He is basically saying, we MUST include these other parties, in essence it means the negotiations are not between 2 parties but between 5 parties. At that point there could never be any compromise as it is impossible to do so with 5 parties. If Likud, Chareidim, and all the other religious all ran together as one party then you could say it is one party and negotiations must be with the entire party.
    If Bibi and the Likud would have come to the negotiating table offering 2 out of the 4 disagreements, mainly the very unfair one which hurts most Israelis – that their sons MUST go to the Army on pain of jail, while others don’t, and then compromising allowing the local communities to set their degree of observance of Shabbos, (which is the democratic way – you can’t force it on others), It seems the rest would fall into place and Bibi would go first as Prime Minister. Compromising on the Giyur is too of a hard of an issue because that can ruin the Jewish lineage. The buses you could also compromise on. Compromise consist of each side retaining their strongest issue, and then negotiating on the rest. That is what is needed to form a unity government.
    Unfortunately, Netanyahu came attached to the others and could not compromise on any of the 4 issues, so here we are. As much as it hurts and stabs the heart, I think Ganz should form a minority government because it looks like nothing will change – if they could not do it now there will 4-5 elections and still nothing. Better a minority government like this, than no Government at all. The lesser of 2 evils.


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