For Blue and White official, ‘the story’s over’ for unity

If Gantz had accepted unity,”he would have prevented additional elections and become prime minister within a few months,” counters the Likud.

By World Israel News Staff 

A senior official in the Blue and White faction says that there is no longer any possibility of forming a unity government with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of the Likud party, according to a report in the Israel Hayom daily. “The story’s over as far as unity with Netanyahu,” a senior Blue and White official told the paper.

Amid an ongoing political stalemate in Israel, the formation of a joint government of Likud and Blue and White would establish a 65-seat majority in the 120-member Knesset, even before including any smaller parliamentary groupings.

However, according to the report, there are two reasons why Blue and White is now ruling out a coalition with Netanyahu.

“We must stand by our pledges to the voters. We said that we would not sit together with Netanyahu [if he is] under indictment,” said the senior official cited by Israel Hayom.

Last Thursday, Attorney-General Avichai Mandelblit announced that the incumbent prime minister would be indicted in connection with three cases of alleged corruption, including one charge of bribery.

Blue and White is headed by MK Benny Gantz. The senior faction official quoted by the newspaper says that the second reason that hope for a national unity government has been lost is that “leaders of the [Blue and White] list have no faith in Netanyahu even for one day. It’s impossible to count on him and to make deals with him.”

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The official was said to be reacting to the latest Netanyahu proposal to Blue and White for forming a unity coalition, including a rotation at the helm, with Netanyahu beginning the joint term as prime minister but handing over the mantle to Gantz after just a number of months.

The Likud is accusing Blue and White of looking for excuses to reject the offer and says that the proposal has already been on the table for a number of weeks.

Netanyahu’s party argues that if Gantz had accepted the unity arrangement,”he would have prevented additional elections and also become prime minister within a few months.”