Yair Lapid, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and Benny Gantz.
(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST+EMIL SALMAN/POLL+ANDREAS GEBERT/REUTERS)
The Yesh Atid and Israel Resilience Parties, which merged early Thursday morning as the Blue and White Party, revealed its list in the afternoon: 52 people, many of them IDF generals or other military professionals.
There are only two women in the top 10: Miki Haimovich and Orna Barbivai.
The complete top ten list is Benny Gantz, Yair Lapid, Moshe Bogie Ya'alon, Gabi Ashkenazi, Avi Nissenkorn, Meir Cohen, Miki Haimovich, Ofer Shelah, Yoaz Hendel and Orna Barbivai.
Blue and White is creating a bloc to compete with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's Likud in the April 9 elections.
The premiership will be rotated during the party's expected tenure, should it win the most seats and form a coalition. Gantz will serve as prime minister until November 2021 and Ya'alon will hold the role of Defense Minister. After that, Lapid will become prime minister and Gantz will take on the role of Defense Minister.
"Out of national responsibility, Gantz, Lapid and Ya'alon decided to form a united list that will be Israel's new ruling party," they said in a joint statement. "The new ruling party will bring forth a cadre of security and social leaders to ensure Israel's security and to reconnect its people and heal the divide within Israeli society."
Gantz and Lapid will convene a press conference in Tel Aviv on Thursday night, in which they will reveal their new platform, their list and the name they will run under in the election.
The list is expected to be led by Gantz, followed by Lapid, Ya'alon, Ashkenazi and Histadrut Labor Federation chief Avi Nissenkorn.
Meretz leader Tamar Zandberg called for Labor leader Avi Gabbay to meet with her and consider forming a joint list on the Left. Gabbay will discuss the political developments with his Labor faction on Thursday but he is unlikely to accept Zandberg's offer, which he termed political spin.
Gabbay mocked the deal between Yesh Atid and the Israel Resilience Party.
“The merger of Lapid and Gantz won’t lead to an upheaval and won’t give the bloc a single extra vote,” Gabbay said. “Their views are amorphous. I hope voters in the bloc come to us instead.”
Gantz and his associates negotiated all night with Lapid and his Yesh Atid Party, first at the Savyon home of a neighbor of Lapid aide Hillel Kobrinsky and then at the Tel Aviv Fairgrounds office of Israel Resilience.
Israel Resilience-Telem candidate Yoaz Hendel told The Jerusalem Post that there were no major differences between the parties on key policies and principles.
The Likud said that Lapid and Gantz would only be able to form a government if they rely on the outside support of Arab parties.
The fate of Haredi Women's College founder Adina Bar-Shalom remained undecided on Thursday morning. She has negotiated with Gantz and was waiting for the outcome of his talks with Yesh Atid.
A Walla! poll on Wednesday found that if Lapid and Gantz run together the joint list will win 34 seats and Netanyahu’s Likud will win 33 seats. If they run separately Likud will win 31 seats, Gantz 19 and Yesh Atid 13.
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