Yisrael Beytenu is considering backing a temporary government that would deal with some of the state’s immediate problems. A report in Maariv Wednesday said that party MK Alex Kushnir outlined the plan for an “experts’ government” in a letter to party chairman Avigdor Liberman.
The government would include 12 ministers, including Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu. The government would be very limited in its activities, basically formed in order to pass the state budget and deal with security issues. The government would last for a year, after which there would be new elections. Blue and White would be invited to join, but if it refused to do so, Yisrael Beytenu would still go ahead with the plan. According to Kushnir, both Likud and Blue and White officials have expressed support.
A meeting between Netanyahu and Benny Gantz Tuesday afternoon yielded no progress on a unity government, with the meeting breaking up after only 45 minutes, and both Likud and Blue and White blaming each other for the ongoing failure to establish a government. Speaking on Reshet Bet Wednesday, Likud MK Miki Zohar said that “a rightwing government is the only option at this point, there will be no unity government with Blue and White. As far as we are concerned they are no longer relevant, and we will not conduct further negotiations with them.” Zohar’s declaration came almost 24 hours after a similar one by Blue and White, which said Tuesday that negotiations were off unless the Likud agreed in advance that Gantz would serve first in a rotation agreement.
Speaking to Army Radio, Likud chief negotiator Yariv Levin said that “we made a long line of concessions, agreeing finally to having Netanyahu serve as prime minister for just half a year. We told them from the first day that we would provide guarantees that Netanyahu would resign in respect of a rotation agreement. Blue and White did not make even one concession in the negotiations. They need to stop this radical opposition to a unity government. The bottom line is they just do not want a unity government.”