Netanyahu is going nowhere fast - analysis

“We need it now.” “I emphasize the speed.” “As soon as possible.” “We can do it very fast,” are just a few examples of how Netanyahu said coalition talks should move.

By
September 26, 2019 04:40
2 minute read.
President Reuven Rivlin (center) meets with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (right) and Blue and W

President Reuven Rivlin (center) meets with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (right) and Blue and White leader Benny Gantz, September 25 2019 . (photo credit: AMOS BEN GERSHOM, GPO)

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu mentioned the need to accelerate talks nine times in his brief remarks, after President Reuven Rivlin entrusted him with forming the next government Wednesday night.

“We need it now.” “I emphasize the speed.” “As soon as possible.” “We can do it very fast.” These are just a few examples of how the prime minister said coalition talks should move.

Netanyahu said he wants to move fast because no one wants a third election, and there are great national challenges ahead in the areas of national security, the economy and US President Donald Trump’s “Deal of the Century.”

The problem is that Netanyahu seems to be going nowhere fast.

As Rivlin explained in his speech, “Netanyahu received the support of 55 MKs and MK Benny Gantz received the support of 54 MKs…MK Netanyahu’s ability to form a government is greater, at the moment… But it is important to say that with the results of the election and the fact that neither of the MKs received 61 recommendations, tasking one MK out of the two candidates to form a government is not a solution in and of itself.”

In other words, just because Netanyahu won the recommendations battle doesn’t mean he won the war: He still doesn’t have a majority.

Netanyahu is well aware of this, quipping: “I do this knowing that I don’t have a higher chance of forming a government, but that my inability is smaller than Benny Gantz’s inability.”

Therefore, Netanyahu called on Gantz to form a broad national unity government – quickly, of course – saying that it is the only way to form a government.

The prime minister said he offered Gantz “joint leadership, a government of parity, a government with different interesting arrangements that [Rivlin] brought up,” such as Netanyahu going on an extended break if he’s indicted on corruption charges.

“We could do a number of things to ensure that partnership and the clear structure between the two leaders,” Netanyahu said.

But Netanyahu admitted that Gantz refused these offers.

The Blue and White leader repeated his campaign’s two major promises in a message released during Netanyahu’s remarks: that the party will not sit with Netanyahu as long as there is a recommended indictment against him and that it will not be in a government with religious parties.

In other words, Netanyahu can rev his engines all he wants for quick coalition talks, but he may be idling for the coming days. Whether he’ll give up before the 21 days Rivlin gave him and then set Gantz up for failure, or whether Blue and White – or maybe even Yisrael Beytenu – will blink before that, remains to be seen.


Related Content

October 17, 2019
Netanyahu's offer to Gantz: manipulation or compromise? - analysis

By LAHAV HARKOV

Cookie Settings