Gantz: Labor Won’t Join Up With Left Parties

israel government, gantz government, israel elections
Blue and White party leader Benny Gantz (Reuters/Amir Cohen/File)

Blue and White will not merge itself with far-left parties Labor and Democratic Camp, party head Benny Gantz said Wednesday. While he believed it would be a good idea for those two parties to run on a single list, he did not believe Blue and White should be a part of the group.

Gantz made the statement hours after discussing the possibility of a three-party merger with Labor head Amir Peretz. The initiative for the single list was Peretz’s, Channel 13 reported, and it was he who initiated the meeting. Earlier, Gantz met with Democratic Camp MK Nitzan Horowitz on the same issue.

“Blue and White is determined to ensure that there is a definitive result in the next election,” Gantz said. “For that to happen we need to work hard and there must be unity among the leftist Zionist parties. I met with Peretz and Horowitz and made clear to them that Blue and White would remain an alternative for voters in the center of the political map, and that we would not join with any other party, on the left or the right.”

Recent polls show that both Democratic Camp and Labor close to the electoral threshold – perhaps in danger of not passing it, if they run independently. The polls show Blue and White continuing to gather strength, but at the expense of those parties; the center-left bloc of the three parties continues to remain stable at 43 or 44 Knesset seats, regardless of the performance of each of the three parties. Efforts to unite just Democratic Camp and Labor have so far not succeeded either, because of fears among leaders of both parties that voters of either would drift to Blue and White because of the ideological differences between the two parties.

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