Gantz offer to join Netanyahu was 'sarcastic'

In an interview with the Ynet website, Gantz mocked Netanyahu for how far he was willing to go in May to prevent the current election from taking place.

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August 12, 2019 03:02
2 minute read.
Gantz offer to join Netanyahu was 'sarcastic'

Tension was evident between Blue and White leader Benny Gantz and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the opening of the Knesset’s new session on April 30. (photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)

A statement Blue and White leader Benny Gantz made about being willing to rotate as prime minister with Benjamin Netanyahu if he serves before the current prime minister was said sarcastically, sources close to Gantz said on Sunday.

In an interview with the Ynet website, Gantz mocked Netanyahu for how far he was willing to go in May to prevent the current election from taking place. He said Netanyahu offered him “half the world” and “anything I wanted” had he joined the coalition with or without any or all of his Blue and White faction, but he rejected all the offers.

Asked if Netanyahu offered him a rotation as prime minister back then, Gantz said: “I don’t think Netanyahu took that risk on himself, but if Netanyahu wants to offer a rotation in which I go first, we can start speaking about the details.”

Gantz’s associates clarified that he was speaking cynically about an extremely hypothetical and unlikely scenario in which Netanyahu agreed to serve for two years as Gantz’s transportation minister.

A source close to Gantz pointed out that in the interview, Gantz said repeatedly that he and Netanyahu cannot be in the same coalition, because of Netanyahu’s three pending indictments. Gantz also made fun of then-Labor leader Avi Gabbay, who held serious, marathon coalition talks with Netanyahu all night at the prime minister’s official residence the night before the election was initiated.

“For me, sacrificing Israeli democracy is not something I can agree to,” Gantz said in the interview. “I cannot accept there being a supreme leader.”

But the Democratic Union took Gantz’s statement about rotating with Netanyahu seriously and criticized him for it.

“Instead of looking reality in the eye and courageously leading the changes necessary for Israel and its citizens, Gantz is crawling into a Netanyahu-led government that will destroy the rule of law and bring about the destruction of Israeli democracy,” the party led by Nitzan Horowitz, Stav Shaffir and Ehud Barak said in a statement.

Reacting to the Democratic Union’s response, sources close to Gantz said “So what?”

Labor-Gesher later also condemned Gantz, saying that his statement proved that “Blue and White has conceded its chance of winning the election” and that only Amir Peretz and Orly Levy-Abecassis can being about a political upheaval in Israel. Blue and White responded that there would be no response to criticism from a “niche party.”


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