Benny Gantz (L) and Yair Lapid (R) at a press conference, March 21st, 2019.
(photo credit: AVSHALOM SASSONI/MAARIV)
Blue and White leaders Benny Gantz and Yair Lapid ended talk of a national unity government that would cancel the September 17 election, in a faction meeting on Monday at the Knesset.
Gantz and Lapid reacted to reports on Sunday night that officials from their party and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud were examining the possibility of drafting the 80 MKs necessary to void the bill that dispersed the Knesset.
They both said the possibility was never serious on their part, but claimed that it was for Netanyahu.
“Someone is stressed from the election or the investigations or both,” Gantz said. “Blue and White will run in the election united and win. Our goal in the election remains becoming the largest party and forming the widest coalition possible with everyone who is worthy to join.” Gantz said he would not rule out Arab MKs joining the coalition, complaining that their conditions resembled bad neighborhoods in “Chicago or Detroit.”
Lapid added remarks of his own saying “Netanyahu engaged in a pathetic attempt to cancel the elections after he took us to unnecessary elections and got scared.” He added, “When Netanyahu is scared he always looks for an underhand deal.
He’s right to be scared, because he understood he’s going to lose.” Going further, Lapid suggested that seeking another election only to cancel it indicated that Netanyahu was not psychologically sound.
“He’s not stable,” Lapid said. “We can’t afford a prime minister who isn’t stable.”
Lapid also made reference to what he considers Netanyahu’s failed attempts to break apart Blue and White. After reports of a fight with Blue and White number-three candidate Moshe Ya’alon, Lapid said, “We’re standing here together. We’re here to win.”
Likud minister Ze’ev Elkin also denied that the effort to prevent the election was serious and denied the Likud’s role in it. Likud MK Yoav Kisch admitted that he may have been the source of the report, as he considered the possibility with Knesset legal officials, but even he rebutted that the initiative was impossible to implement.
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