Levy-Abekasis speaks on failed merger with Gantz's former party

"I won't compromise on the issues Gesher was founded to address," said Gesher party Chairwoman Orly Levy-Abekasis.

By ZACK EVANS
February 24, 2019 22:45
1 minute read.
Orly Levy Abecassis (L) and Benny Gantz (R)

Orly Levy Abecassis (L) and Benny Gantz (R). (photo credit: WIKIMEDIA COMMONS & MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)

 
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Orly Levy-Abekasis said that Benny Gantz offered her the second spot in a prospective merger between their two parties, Gesher and Israel Resilience. Her comments were made during an interview on Israel's Channel 12 News, in which she explained why she refused the merger.

Levy-Abekasis stated that the merger of Gantz's party with Yair Lapid's Yesh Atid last week was based on "the division of fluctuating jobs, around the issue of who would sit in the prime minister's chair, who would be foreign minister and defense minister, and how they would organize the rotation [between jobs]."

She emphasized that the failure of negotiations between her and Gantz wasn't personal, but because she realized she wouldn't be able to move forward with her party's platform in the context of a merger with Gantz.

"The moment the issues important to me were not put out in front, I stopped [negotiations]," she continued. "I didn't come to be number two without progressing on those issues."

After refusing to merge with Israel Resilience, it is unclear whether Gesher will be able to pass the election threshold. A Channel 12 poll from Feb. 21 indicated that Gesher would not pass the threshold if elections were held that day.

Levy-Abekasis has acquired the reputation of a politician with an independent streak. Formerly an MK for Yisrael Beiteynu, she quit the party in 2016 due to disagreements with party leaders about joining the coalition while neglecting social issues she considered to be important.

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