Benny Gantz .
(photo credit: AVSHALOM SASSONI)
Blue and White leader Benny Gantz launched a preemptive strike against his fellow former IDF chief of staff Ehud Barak on Wednesday, hours ahead of Barak’s announcement of his political comeback.
Barak is expected to reveal that he is forming a new political party that will try to unite parties and movements on the Center-Left.
“Only a strong centrist party like Blue and White can win, and any split in the camp harms the effort to defeat Netanyahu,” Gantz said at a press conference in Tel Aviv.
Gantz firmly rejected overtures from Likud to bring his party into the government and prevent the September 17 election from taking place. He lamented that it was too late to stop the election, which he said was taking place because of Netanyahu’s political and legal problems.
“Netanyahu lost it,” Gantz said. “When he failed to form a government, he led the dispersal of the Knesset and the initiation of an unnecessary and expensive election. If Netanyahu didn’t drag the country to elections, the president would have asked me to form a government. I would have succeeded, and Netanyahu knew it.”
Gantz called Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein’s attempt to cancel the election “another spin from Netanyahu’s house of cards.”
“Netnayahu can’t shift the blame to others or cynically take advantage of the Knesset speaker,” Gantz said. Netanyahu didn’t negotiate with us. He preferred a right-wing extremist government with [Union of Right-wing Parties MK Bezalel] Smotrich.”
Edelstein responded that "there is indeed leagal preparation for cancelling the dispersal of the Knesset and it is the will of the public to cancel the repeat election."
"I would not have initiated his step had I not been sure it was possible," he said. "I call on all sides to internalize the importance of this moment and act responsibly. This is not the time to attack each other but to work for the good of the public."
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