Gantz Warns Netanyahu: Pass Budget or You’ll Lose Next Election

YERUSHALAYIM -
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Benny Gantz at a Cabinet meeting in July. (Amit Shabi/POOL)

Defense Minister Benny Gantz urged Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to pass a state budget in accordance with their coalition agreement or lose his position as prime minister to his right-wing rivals in an upcoming election.

“If there is a fourth election, I know Netanyahu will no longer be the prime minister of Israel and he should know that as well,” he wrote in a social media post.

“We have not given up on our desire to serve the citizens of Israel in a government that works, but my colleagues and I are fed up with lies,” he added.

Israel’s political landscape was dramatically shaken last week when former Likud MK Gideon Sa’ar announced his intention to form his own party and challenge Netanyahu for the premiership.

Current polls show Sa’ar’s party garnered support from Likud and would harm Netanyahu’s attempts to form a new coalition, would new elections be held today.

Gantz also stressed that “the commitments made to Israeli citizens must be honored,” namely “the passage of a state budget” and “a functioning unity government” between his Blue and White political bloc and the Likud party.

These pledges are “the only way for Netanyahu to prove that the Israelis are not being held hostage by his court cases hanging over his head,” he continued.

The bill to dissolve the Knesset was approved last week in a preliminary reading and with the support of the Blue and White bloc.