Blue and White leaders Benny Gantz (L) and Yair Lapid (R) embrace during a campaign event, February 21st, 2019.
(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)
A short-lived fight at the top of Blue and White ended on Wednesday when the party’s No. 2, Yair Lapid, told Channel 12: “If elections are declared, Gantz will lead Blue and White again.”
The fight began when Lapid refused to answer a question on Army Radio about whether Gantz would continue leading the party. Yediot Aharonot later quoted Lapid telling confidants: “I don’t promise to continue being his No. 2.”
Blue and White MK Moshe Ya’alon objected to Lapid’s behavior.
“I was sorry to hear what Lapid said,” Ya’alon told Army Radio. “Blue and White is about putting the country first and setting egos aside. From my standpoint, we will be running again under the leadership of Gantz.”
In a sign that their dispute was resolved, Lapid tweeted a picture on Wednesday from the Knesset along with Gantz, saying “Getting ready for a long night.”
MKs in Blue and White said their list would likely remain exactly the same, if a repeat election were to be held. They expressed satisfaction that their MKs had resisted temptation to join the Likud.
Ethiopian immigrant Gadi Yevarkan, who is a former Likud Knesset candidate, was even offered to be immigrant absorption minister if he would leave Blue and White, but he decided to remain in the party. Both Yevarkan and haredi (ultra-Orthodox) Blue and White MK Omer Yankelevich delivered their maiden Knesset speeches on Wednesday.
Yankelevich spoke about the need for separate education among haredim to ensure the success of haredi women. Yevarkan called for a state commission of inquiry to probe the failures of the integration of immigrants from Ethiopia.