Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu published a plan for establishing a national unity government yesterday, which was quickly rejected by Blue and White chair Benny Gantz.
According to Haaretz, the outline is “based on the guidelines set forward by President Reuven Rivlin for establishing a unity government” but it ignores Blue and White’s “demand to break up the right-wing bloc as a precondition to coalition talks”.
With less than a week to go, Gantz rejects Netanyahu's outline for unity government: The plan presented by the prime minister, whose mandate to form a coalition expires Wednesday, ignores Kahol Lavan's demand to break up the right-wing bloc, and… https://t.co/jGNsFAhihO Haaretz pic.twitter.com/QCPrwZUvq8
— Jewish Community (@JComm_NewsFeeds) October 17, 2019
In addition, the plan – presented less than a week before next Wednesday’s deadline to secure a coalition – fails to mention “a rotation of the premiership or an arrangement for such a rotation”.
Netanyahu’s plan “suggests maintaining the status quo for a year”, Haaretz noted, which would thus prevent Blue and White (Kahol Lavan) “from fulfilling its pledge to voters on matter of religion, such as public transportation on Shabbat and civil unions”.
התקשרתי עכשיו לחבר הכנסת בני גנץ והצעתי בפניו מתווה פשרה להקמת ממשלת אחדות לאומית רחבה. זו הממשלה היחידה שאפשר להקים עכשיו וזו הממשלה היחידה שחובה להקים עכשיו. כל אזרחי ישראל מסתכלים סביב ורואים איך המזרח התיכון משתנה לנגד עינינו – משתנה לרעה. מי שצריך לדעת יודע שגם האתגרים הביטחוניים הולכים וגדלים, והם לא מחכים לנו. לכן אני קורא לבני גנץ לגלות אחריות לאומית ולהיכנס איתי מייד למשא ומתן, להקים איתי את הממשלה שמדינת ישראל כל כך זקוקה לה.
Posted by Benjamin Netanyahu – בנימין נתניהו on Thursday, October 17, 2019
Shortly after Netanyahu presented the plan to Gantz by phone, the Blue and White chair said it was “impossible not to refuse” such a proposal.
“We’ll wait to receive the president’s offer to form the government and then we’ll begin serious negotiations to establish a liberal unity government”.
For his part, Netanyahu posted a video on social media explaining that he had called Gantz and “suggested a compromise for the establishment of a broad national unity government”.
“Be it Netanyahu or Gantz, Zionist leaders will always promote policies that serve their colonial project on this land. Gantz may use more subtle rhetoric and attacks, but it will still be violent,” says @MariamBarghouti https://t.co/OvtcogqMba
— +972 Magazine (@972mag) October 15, 2019
The long-time Likud leader added:
“This is the only government that can be established now and this is the only government that must be established now”.
“All Israelis are looking around and see the Middle East changing before our very eyes – changing for the worse. Those who need to know, know that the security challenges we face are only growing, and they will not wait for us” .
— News1 English (@News1English) October 18, 2019
Next week, a 28-day period for Netanyahu to form a government expires, after which time President Rivlin “can allow Netanyahu a two-week extension, or transfer the mandate to Gantz”. Sources have suggested that Rivlin is unlikely “to extend Netanyahu’s deadline to form a government”.
The alternative scenario would then be Rivlin tapping another lawmaker – “most likely Gantz” – to head up another attempt to negotiate a coalition deal.
(Middle East Monitor, PC, Social Media)