Gabay: Sorry I Didn’t Take Netanyahu’s Deal

Former Labor Party chairman Avi Gabay. (Marc Israel Sellem/POOL)

In a radio interview, former Labor head Avi Gabay said that he “regretted not joining the previous government Binyamin Netanyahu attempted to form in April.” Gabay said that he had received “a very generous offer” from Netanyahu, and that had he accepted it, the country would be a in a much better position today.

“At the end of the day, we are in a situation where there is no government, and we have wasted millions of shekels on new elections, and we are in the same situation as then. I could have brought about great change, but I was alone in my desire to join the government” among his party’s MKs. “I certainly regret that I did not pursue the deal.”

Reports in May said that Netanyahu had offered four ministries to the six-member Labor faction – among them finance minister. Gabay said at the time that his party had rejected the offer, “and the right thing for the president to do would be to give Benny Gantz an opportunity to form a government.”

Gabay was ejected as Labor Party head after garnering far fewer Knesset seats than expected. He was replaced by current head Amir Peretz.

Months later, Gabay told Reshet Bet that “the chaos we find ourselves in is a danger to democracy.” The best option, he said, would be a unity government between the Likud and Blue and White without Yisrael Beytenu. “Binyamin Netanyahu and Benny Gantz must sit together and discuss unity. They don’t need Liberman. This is what leaders are for.” Liberman, he said, “is the most dangerous man in the political system. Liberman is rightwing, and he only cares about himself. If Gantz and Netanyahu cannot get together then we must go to new elections.”

In a social media post over the weekend, Peretz reiterated that “under no circumstances” would Labor join a government headed by Netanyahu.