Defense Minister Benny Gantz and Justice Minister Gideon Sa’ar publicly unveil the joint electoral list combining their Blue and White and New Hope parties.
“From the moment I entered into politics, I have repeatedly said that we are at an illogical and unprecedented situation,” says Gantz of the ongoing political deadlock, calling it the “biggest democratic and political crisis in history.”
For too long, says Gantz, former prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu has dragged the Likud party to positions that erode national statesmanship and harm Israel’s democratic principles.
“Israel deserves better,” Gantz says, saying that voters “shouldn’t have to pick from the extremes,” but instead deserve a sane, central option.
“We are laying the cornerstone for the next government,” says Gantz, vowing to establish a “responsible, realistic, secure and liberal” government. Such a coalition, he says, will “say no to racism, no to extremism, and yes to unity for all parts of the country and all types of citizens.”
He praises the outgoing multi-party coalition, but says a few members on its fringes pulled it off the road.
Gantz calls on other groups “who agree with our values” to join their union.
Its goal, he says, is to unify “all those who support a Jewish, democratic, safe Israel.”
He believes it can appeal to “many people on the statesmanlike right” looking for a political home.
Sa’ar says that Israel “needs a new hope and a way out of this crisis.” He says that he and Gantz have devoted their lives to the State of Israel and agreed to join forces to create a “wide, patriotic, center-right” electoral slate.
Sa’ar also says that Gantz — who will take the joint list’s top slot — is the ideal candidate to lead the next government.
Blue and White has 8 seats in the outgoing Knesset; New Hope has 6.
In recent polls, which are not necessarily reliable, Blue and White is slated to receive around 8-9 seats and New Hope 4-5.