Gantz calls for unity, an end to ‘schism,’ as he takes baton to form government

Gantz said he would work for all of Israel’s citizens.

By David Isaac, World Israel News

Blue and White leader MK Benny Gantz struck a statesmanlike tone after receiving the mandate from Israeli President Reuven Rivlin to form a governing coalition on Monday.

Gantz received the recommendation of 61 Knesset members on Sunday, topping the 58 that recommended Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

“I will do everything possible to establish in the coming days, a patriotic government in which I will represent and serve the Blue and White voters, the Likud, the entire party on the Right and the Left, all the citizens of Israel,” he said.

Gantz also addressed the coronavirus issue. “Israel is at the beginning of a deep crisis,” he said. “At this time tens of thousands of families sit in their homes. Some of the citizens have already lost their jobs and livelihoods and some may soon be told about it.”

“The government I will lead will cure Israeli society of the coronavirus, and also the vrius of schism and hatred,” he said.

“Our beloved and courageous doctors will overcome the coronavirus. Only leaders who put the good of the state ahead of themselves will overcome the virus of hatred and schism,” he added.

“I have always wanted unity. Unity that did not come at the expense of Israel’s democratic values. It’s up to the leaders of the other parties, and in particular Benjamin Netanyahu, to decide whether he is willing to go this way,” Gantz said.

Gantz tweeted after the ceremony, “I reach out my hand to the heads of all the factions, including Benjamin Netanyahu, and call to put aside the destructive verbal weapons and open hatred.”

In his tweet, Gantz called on his opponents to join him on the journey “to heal Israeli society. Heal from the coronavirus, and also heal the virus of schism and hatred.”