Yaalon: Likud Gets Our First Phone Call

Moshe Yaalon at the Annual International Conference of the Institute for National Security Studies in Tel Aviv. (Flash90)

If his party wins, Blue and White will contact the Likud and offer to include them in its coalition, former Chief of Staff and Blue and White candidate Moshe Yaalon said. Binyamin Netanyahu, however, will not be invited to join. In a conversation with high school students in Even Yehudah outside of Netanya, Yaalon said that Blue and White would seek to include both the Likud and Labor in its government.

“Who will we call first? First the Likud and then Labor,” Yaalon said. “We believe that the Likud without Netanyahu is a partner. I won’t go into all of the incidents the Likud has been involved in in recent years, but the Likud represents a significant part of the nation. The party has veered off what it was in the days of Menachem Begin, Moshe Shamir and Ze’ev Jabotinsky,” but with that, the Likud is still an important element in Israeli politics.

“We will have our differences of opinion between now and the elections, and they may be sharp,” Yaalon said. “But when we are ready to lead, we must include the Likud and Labor with us in a coalition. It’s the right thing to do politically, and it will limit the power of the small parties to squeeze the government for concessions.”

In an interview with Reshet Bet last week, Lapid said that the “natural move” for Blue and White would be to form a coalition with the Likud. “We won’t form a government with the Arabs, we will seek to do so with the Likud. This will be a post-Netanyahu Likud, he will not remain in the party if he loses. The Likud is an important national party with good people, and they will make a positive addition to the next Knesset. I would certainly be happy to be in a government with them,” Lapid said.

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