Benny Gantz and Yair Lapid have been holding “intensive” talks on forming an alliance for the April elections, according to Hadashot on Monday night.
The sticking point, it seems, is the question of who’s going to be No. 1, according to the report. Both are used to being at the top — Gantz in the IDF and Lapid in his Yesh Atid party — and each sees himself as prime ministerial material.
Yesh Atid and Gantz’s Israel Resilience party are both polling at around 12 seats each, compared to Likud’s 30. Both are reportedly looking at other possible alliances: Lapid with Tzipi Livni, Gantz with Moshe Yaalon and Orly Levy.
Gantz’s bargaining power may drop when the next round of polls comes out after his debut speech to the Druze community in which he promised to “fix” the nation-state law, which declares Israel to be a Jewish state. Some Druze leaders have protested that the law makes them into second-class citizens. Gantz was severely criticized by leading Likud politicians who said his speech was proof that he is a left-winger.
In response to the report on the Gantz-Lapid talks, the Likud issued a statement late Monday saying that this potential “union of the left” underlined that it was vital that the Likud emerge as the biggest party on April 9, to prevent a Gantz and Lapid-led coalition.