The head of Israel’s Blue and White (Kahol Lavan) alliance, Benny Gantz, said on Tuesday that he is still willing to form a “national emergency government” with the Likud party led by Benjamin Netanyahu, but “not at any cost”.
“We informed them that we want a national emergency government, but not at any cost,” Gantz wrote on Facebook after the two sides called off coalition talks earlier this week.
In his post, Gantz held Likud responsible for the failed talks, saying the two sides had nearly reached an agreement when Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s party wanted to change a previous agreement on judicial appointments.
לילה טוב אזרחי ישראל.ממש לפני כמה דקות סיימנו בכנסת את החקיקה שתאפשר להזרים עשרות מיליארדי שקלים במסגרת תוכנית החירום…
However, the Likud responded in a statement blaming Gantz for the failed talks.
“From the first moment, it was agreed that the unity government would stand on two clear lines: joint decision making on all issues and promoting the application of sovereignty [over the West Bank].”
“Unfortunately, at the last minute, Blue and White reversed on these agreements, which are a necessary basis for any equal unity government. The moment that Blue and White returns to the agreements it will be possible to complete the deal. Spin doesn’t bring unity closer but rather distances it,” the Likud added.
— @palestinechron (@PalestineChron) April 1, 2020
On March 26, Gantz became the country’s new Speaker of the Knesset (Parliament), as Israel teetered on the brink of a constitutional crisis following the abrupt resignation of former Speaker Yuli Edelstein a day earlier.
The announcement of Gantz’s candidacy quickly dismantled the Blue and White party. Feeling betrayed by Gantz’s decision, top party members Yair Lapid and Moshe Ya’alon decided to break away and join the opposition.
(Palestine Chronicle, MEMO, Social Media)