Blue and White leader Benny Gantz reiterates his centrist party’s commitment to forming a unity government after last month’s elections left neither bloc with a clear path to a majority.
Gantz says Netanyahu is now “the sole obstacle” to a unity government involving Blue and White and Likud, and that the broad platform of such a “liberal unity government” is agreed by the parties.
Israel, says Gantz, “needs a prime minister who can attend to its citizens’ needs, not his legal difficulties… a unity government not a immunity government.”
He charges that Netanyahu is “prepared to do anything to protect his own interests, even if that means dragging us to us to new elections.”
“The best thing for Israel is a unity government on the basis of fundamentals,” Gantz tells Blue and White lawmakers before the swearing-in of the new Knesset.
His comments jive with those of Yisrael Beytenu leader Avigdor Liberman, who is pushing for a unity government that includes his party, Netanyahu’s Likud and Blue and White.
After meeting earlier today with Netanyahu, Liberman said the focus should be on finding “common ground” between the parties and not on doling out ministerial portfolios or a rotation agreement for prime minister.
Gantz also addresses Netanyahu’s pending indictment on corruption charges.
Directing his remarks at Netanyahu, he says he hopes the prime minister will be able to prove his innocence in the three graft cases he faces. “I don’t want to see a prime minister behind bars… I don’t want to see you convicted of criminal offenses.” But until then, Gantz urges him, “Don’t bunker down in your post… We’ll take things from there… We’ll put Israel before everything else.”