Blue and White ‘Badly Split’ Over Unity Government Possibility

israel blue and white
R-L: Blue and White Party leaders Benny Gantz, Yair Lapid, Moshe Yaalon and Gabi Ashkenazi. (Hadas Parush/Flash90)

If a government is not formed by midnight Wednesday, or if a candidate to form one is not appointed by the Knesset by that time, new elections will be called, pitting the Likud against Blue and White. But that assumes that the latter party will remain intact – which is not at all a certainty.

Media reports Monday said that party has been roiled over the idea of forming a unity government with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu. According to the reports, Yair Lapid is the primary force against that – and other top MKs in the party, including Gabi Ashkenazi, are furious with him. Reports in recent days that MKs in Blue and White are pressuring party head Benny Gantz into canceling his rotation deal with Lapid are based on Ashkenazi’s efforts on this front, the reports said.

Yisrael Hayom quoted a top party source as saying that “Gantz and Ashkenazi sought to come to a compromise with Netanyahu, and Lapid would not agree under any conditions. There is a great deal of tension in the party’s top ranks, much more than is visible to outsiders. Ashkenazi is very angry with Lapid and is not willing to drop the matter.”

With that, the source said that Gantz had not succeeded in moving forward with a unity deal. “We thought that in the last two days something might happen, that maybe someone like Avi Gabay would step up and join one side or the other. But nothing is happening, everyone is mentally preparing themselves for elections.” Reports Monday said that the Likud and Blue and White had agreed that elections would be held on 6 Adar, March 2, 2020.