Blue and White will run Benny Gantz as the party's sole candidate for prime minister if a third election is held, Gantz's number two, MK Yair Lapid, announced at Monday's faction meeting at the Knesset.Gantz and Lapid made the decision last week and decided to announce it at the faction meeting. Gantz and Lapid ran as joint candidates for prime minister in the April and September elections. "We still hope we can prevent elections," Lapid told the faction. "If there are elections, we’ve decided that this time there won’t be a rotation agreement. We will go together, all of us, a large and united Blue and White behind Benny Gantz, our candidate for prime minister."Lapid said he made the decision to give up on the premiership because "it is what is best for the country” and that he did not feel he has given something up."The rotation and the job aren’t what’s important," he said. "I didn’t come into politics for a job, I had a far more comfortable job in my previous career [as a journalist]. What’s important is the result of the PISA tests, the collapse of the emergency rooms and the children in bomb shelters around Gaza."Lapid said Blue and White has an import role to play: "Freeing the country from [Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu."
In his speech to the faction, Gantz denied reports of tension between him and Lapid and the other leaders of the party.Gantz complained to the faction that during coalition talks, Netanyahu had not given up his mantras, his demand to go first in a rotation and taking his political bloc into a government. Gantz called upon Netanyahu to promise not to seek immunity from prosecution, saying it could lead to negotiations that could still prevent the election.
An election will be held automatially if an MK does not obtain the support of a majority of the Knesset by Wednesday.Not only did Netanyahu not take Gantz's challenge to give up immunity for last ditch coalition talks. Instead, called the offer "hollow spin" and calls on Yisrael Beytenu lead Avigdor Liberman to negotiate instead.