Blue and White MK Says Gantz Will Run

YERUSHALAYIM -
Alternate Prime Minister and Minister of Defense Benny Gantz. (David Cohen/Flash90)

Benny Gantz is staying in politics, and will so say in public in the coming days, The Jerusalem Post reported on Thursday, citing sources in his Blue and White party.

After the budget deadline passed and the Knesset dissolved for elections in March, media reports said that Gantz, whose party has been sliding ever closer to the electoral threshold in the polls and is thought to be on the brink of dissolution itself, was thinking seriously of quitting politics.

But on Thursday night, Culture Minister Chili Tropper, a close ally of Gantz, told Channel 12 that “Blue and White will continue running, and so will Benny Gantz.”

The future of Gantz’s No. 2 in the party, Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi, was also the subject of speculation.

Ma’ariv columnist Ben Caspit reported on Thursday that Ashkenazi was seriously considering forming an independent party.

Sources close to Ashkenazi derided the story, saying that “one day it is reported that he is quitting politics, the next day that he is forming a party and the day after that he will replace Benny as head of Blue and White. We won’t stoop to responding to such blabber.”

Elsewhere on the landscape, Tel Aviv mayor Ron Huldai said he would decide soon whether he’ll be forming a political party. Reportedly, he’s been in talks with Justice Minister Avi Nissenkorn (Blue and White) and former justice minister Tzipi Livni, who’s been out of politics since February 2019, when she folded the banner of her Tnuah party, which had merged with Labor.