Both Gantz and Lapid Now Say Gov’t With Netanyahu Possible

YERUSHALAYIM -
Blue and White Party leaders Benny Gantz and Yair Lapid. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

With polls showing support solidifying around the Likud, Blue and White leaders are thinking twice about their willingness to join with Binyamin Netanyahu’s Likud Party. In an interview Monday, Blue and White number two Yair Lapid said that he would prefer a unity government over fourth elections – on the condition that Benny Gantz got the first slot as prime minister.

“I could see a situation where we would work with the Likud, and where Netanyahu would be prime minister after two years, when presumably his legal problems will have been worked out,” Lapid said in an interview with Channel 20. “But it could only be under those conditions. We cannot have a situation where a man on trial for corruption would serve as prime minister. If things work out for Netanyahu then a rotation agreement would be a fine idea.”

Party head Benny Gantz made a similar offer in an interview Tuesday. Speaking to 103FM Radio, Gantz said that he “does not rule out a unity government with the Likud where Netanyahu is a member of the Knesset and head of the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee,” considered one of the most powerful committees in the Knesset.

On Monday, another poll – the third in two days – showed the Likud pulling ahead of Blue and White, with the Netanyahu-led party getting 33 seats, compared to 32 for Blue and White. Previous polls had shown Blue and White getting 35 seats. In the most recent poll in Maariv, as in two other polls Monday, the “lost” Blue and White seats had gravitated to Labor-Meretz-Gesher, which now would get 10 seats. United Torah Judaism and Shas would get 16 seats between them in the latest poll, while Yamina would get 8 seats. The right-wing coalition would get a total of 56 seats, with the United Arab List getting 14 and Yisrael Beyetenu getting 8.