Apparent deal on annexation seen as win for Likud

The apparent agreement between Likud and Blue and White on annexation is being seen as a win for the right wing, though its vague wording makes it far from clear.

In Walla news, reporter Tal Shalev notes that while the agreement calls for Netanyahu to “consult” with Gantz on annexation moves, the Blue and White leader can’t actually veto anything.

A billboard shows Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, left, Avigdor Liberman, center, and Blue and White party leader Benny Gantz, wearing masks in the Israeli city of Ramat Gan on March 29, 2020. The text urges them to take off the masks, because “the people want unity.” (AP/Sebastian Scheiner)

“This means that Netanyahu can bring an annexation order to the Knesset and the government for approval even if Gantz does not agree.” She notes that any such measure would be likely to pass, given that Yisrael Beytenu would likely back it from outside the coalition.

The pro-settler Israel National News website quotes an unnamed Likud source calling the apparent agreement a “big victory for Likud.”

“If true this means that Gantz caved big-time,” tweets Channel 13 reporter Barak Ravid, who adds that the Blue and White leader will be playing the role of “the donkey of the Messiah” in the next government.

On the other side, analyst and academic Tomer Persico tweets that the agreement actually leaves Gantz with the advantage, though noting that it leaves things foggy.

“The questions that will determine it are how much Netanyahu really wants it, what voices he will hear from Europe and the Democrats, and Jordan’s situation. In my opinion, he will not annex,” he writes.


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