Blue and White leaders, (L-R) Benny Gantz, Yair Lapid, Moshe (Bogie) Yaalon, and Gabi Ashkenazi, at a press conference, April 1st, 2019.
(photo credit: AVSHALOM SASSONI/MAARIV)
Blue and White leader Benny Gantz scolded his party’s No. 2 and 3 candidates – Yair Lapid and Moshe Ya’alon – following reports of tension between the two of them.In a message sent on Thursday to MKs in the Blue and White faction’s WhatsApp group, Gantz called upon them to act more responsibly without mentioning them by name.
“Only unifying in the face of our goal and accommodating our differences will enable us to advance and win,” Gantz wrote. “Blue and White is young and has its sub-parties, but our obligation to bring about change in Israel makes us stronger. We will pass many more tests that lie ahead. Our mission is complex, and I will not let anyone harm our chances of success.”
A Channel 12 report on Wednesday night quoted Ya’alon as saying that Lapid made a mistake by repeatedly attacking the haredim (ultra-Orthodox).“Lapid has become a burden,” Ya’alon was quoted as saying. “He has run a negative campaign, a hate campaign that has only done us damage. He harmed sectors that could have found a home in Blue and White or become our partners in the future.”The report also quoted Ya’alon as condemning the rotation agreement between Gantz and Lapid as prime minister.“
The rotation had a bad effect on the voters,” the quote said. “That is backed by polls, including now. There is no shortage of voters in the Center and Right who would and could vote for Blue and White but worry about [Lapid]’s views.
He comes across as too negative. We thought he would connect people but instead there are those pushing him [to the Left].”Channel 12 quoted anonymous sources in Yesh Atid esponding that they were disappointed in Ya’alon, and that Yesh Atid carried him into the Knesset after Ya’alon’s Telem party was hovering around the electoral threshold.
A Channel 13 report went further, saying that Ya’alon himself told Lapid to give up the rotation, and Lapid responded that if the agreements that formed Blue and White are opened, Telem should no longer receive five realistic slots on the united list, because it would not cross the threshold on its own.Sources in Blue and White downplayed the reports, telling The Jerusalem Post
that the quotes were inaccurate, and that the report was “another attempt to cause tension among us. his will only strengthen us.”
Strategists familiar with Blue and White’s internal polls have vigorously denied that the rotation harmed the party in the April 9 election.
Ya’alon himself wrote on Twitter that he backs the rotation, and vowed to keep the agreement.
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