On election night, the Blue and White leader called on “political rivals to leave the disagreements aside and work together to create a fair and equal society.”
By World Israel News Staff
The morning after another Knesset election in which he finished in a dead heat with incumbent Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud party, MK Benny Gantz – the leader of Blue and White – spoke of unity as efforts now concentrate on trying to form a new government coalition which would have the support of a majority of parliament.
“We will wish the people of Israel a good and desirable unity government,” Gantz told reporters outside his home on Wednesday morning, noting that first it was necessary to wait until the final results are in.
In an election night speech earlier on Wednesday morning, Gantz said that uniting the country was no less important than ensuring Israel’s security against external threats.
“No less than security, the internal divisions worry me,” he told the audience at Blue and White election night headquarters.
“These cracks threaten to tear us apart,” Gantz said. “We as a leadership must act immediately to heal them. Society is strong and believes in itself but it is wounded, and the time has come to heal it.”
Gantz said that he had already spoken with the leaders of two small center-left factions which would be considered natural partners for a Blue and White-led coalition: Labor-Gesher and Democratic Union.
However, he added, “I call here on all my political rivals to leave the disagreements aside and work together to create a fair and equal society for all of Israel’s citizens.”
Blue and White has not ruled out joining forces with the Likud but rejects Netanyahu as the party’s leader because of pending indictments facing the prime minister in three alleged corruption cases.
“I intend to talk to everyone,” Gantz said in the election night address, referring to his plans toward forming a government.
“We will work to set up a broad national government that will express the will of the people. Before politics, we are one nation and one society,” he declared, voicing the belief that “the division and incitement are behind us; unity and reconciliation await us.”
Blue and White’s reaction to the results of Tuesday’s election has been more restrained. In April, its leaders took a victory lap on stage after the exit polls were announced even though it was not clear that they could form a government.
Ultimately, in fact, Netanyahu was given the nod by the president to try to form a government. When he failed, another election was declared, and it too has produced a neck-and-neck result.