Gantz Offers to Lead Gov’t, Likud Says No Chance

YERUSHALAYIM -
Blue and White party leader Benny Gantz. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

In a speech Motzoei Shabbos, Blue and White chairman Benny Gantz appealed directly to Likud MKs to make a deal with him that would see him take the prime minister’s office as head of a unity government. The government would be “as wide as possible,” with Gantz in charge for its first two years, with a Likud member – possibly even Binyamin Netanyahu – taking the office later.

That, of course, is if he is acquitted on the charges against him in the various corruption cases he has been implicated in. Until then, Netanyahu needed to step down and recuse himself from any public activities. “Netanyahu, who has never avoided any opportunity to crush his political opponents, is the last one who has the right to demand an exception to stepping down. He is the one who joyfully went from studio to studio conducting interviews when Ehud Olmert faced legal problems, saying that Olmert had no choice but to step down because of the indictments against him,” and now he needs to do the same.

In an interview Motzoei Shabbos, Likud MK Gideon Saar again called for primaries. “We need to do this for the country and for the party. I am not seeking a split in the Likud. I want the Likud to remain strong so it and not the left can lead the country.” In a statement, the Likud said that Saar was alone in his desire for primaries. “Saar as usual is showing zero loyalty and maximum divisiveness,” the Likud said. Regarding Gantz’s comments, the Likud said that “after he was unable to form a government, Benny Gantz is offering Israelis a government headed by him. If Blue and White were to name another party head other than Gantz, we would consider the possibility of a government with a rotation agreement.”

Analysts said that Gantz made a major mistake in his speech, repeating the calumny that Netanyahu was responsible for the murder of Yitzchak Rabin. Netanyahu, “who headed the difficult incitement campaign against Prime Minister Yitzchak Rabin that ended with a national tragedy, needs to understand the dangerous impact words can have, and how they can turn into bullets of death,” said Gantz. Speaking on Kan News, analysts said that “the best thing for Gantz to have done was to sit back and let the Likud implode. Instead he made this speech in which he agains accused Netanyahu of the one thing that will unite the entire party behind him. Gantz’s advisors are not advising him very well.”