Lapid's campaign a 'resounding failure,' National Unity says

The blame game began after it became clear on Wednesday afternoon that Balad was not going to pass the electoral threshold, thus ensuring a victory for the Right bloc led by Netanyahu.

Blue and White leader Benny Gantz and MK Yair Lapid (photo credit: AVSHALOM SASSONI/MAARIV)
Blue and White leader Benny Gantz and MK Yair Lapid
(photo credit: AVSHALOM SASSONI/MAARIV)

Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid and Defense Minister Benny Gantz blamed each other for the results of Tuesday's election, which their political opponent, Likud chairman MK Benjamin Netanyahu has apparently won decisively.

The blame game began after it became clear on Wednesday afternoon that Balad was not going to pass the electoral threshold, thus ensuring a victory for the Right bloc led by Netanyahu.

Yesh Atid, Yair Lapid blame Benny Gantz

Channel 12 News quoted a "senior figure" in Lapid's Yesh Atid Party as saying that Gantz fought with Lapid over votes instead of Netanyahu, and therefore failed to bring the two seats over from the opposing bloc that would have ensured at least a tie. This was Gantz's responsibility since his party was the furthest to the Right in Lapid's bloc, and his failure gave Netanyahu the victory, according to Channel 12.

 Israeli Prime Minister and Yesh Atid party leader Yair Lapid addresses his supporters from the stage at his party headquarters during Israel's general election in Tel Aviv, Israel November 2, 2022. (credit: REUTERS/NIR ELIAS) Israeli Prime Minister and Yesh Atid party leader Yair Lapid addresses his supporters from the stage at his party headquarters during Israel's general election in Tel Aviv, Israel November 2, 2022. (credit: REUTERS/NIR ELIAS)

National Unity, Benny Gantz blame Yair Lapid

An anonymous "senior figure" from Gantz's National Unity Party put out a statement arguing that Lapid was to blame for failing to manage the bloc, since had the prime minister been able to prevent the split in the Joint List between Hadash-Ta'al and Balad, as well as bring about a merger between Labor and Meretz, both Meretz and Balad would not have wasted their votes.

With some 87% of the votes counted on Wednesday evening, Meretz was just short of the electoral threshold and is not expected to pass.

"With the same results we could have won, 61-59. Lapid ran his campaign from the Rose Garden [adjacent to the Knesset] and the podium, and not in the field. While Gantz and the rest of the party heads went out into the field and were interviewed, he was busy 'drinking' the bloc's votes."

National Unity

"With the same results we could have won, 61-59. Lapid ran his campaign from the Rose Garden [adjacent to the Knesset] and the podium, and not in the field. While Gantz and the rest of the party heads went out into the field and were interviewed, he was busy 'drinking' the bloc's votes," the statement read.

"Lapid did not manage to merge the Arab parties or Meretz and Labor, did not take care of vote surplus agreements, and did not call on voters to vote for Meretz in order for it to pass the electoral threshold. While Gantz, [his No. 2, Justice Minister Gideon] Sa'ar and [former chief of staff Gadi] Eisenkot made sure to merge, took seats from the Right bloc, prevented a waste of votes and tried until the last minute to solve the vote surplus agreements, Lapid played on his own half court and 'drank' from all of the parties in the bloc, and thus brought about a loss with difficult implications for Israeli society. This is a resounding failure," the statement read.

Labor figures unhappy with Merav Michaeli

Also in the Lapid bloc, senior Labor figures were not happy with party leader and Transportation Minister Merav Michaeli's conduct during the campaign.

"Labor fought for crumbs against Meretz, and one cannot repeat the 'gevalt' campaign every time anew. If she does not go, she will be expelled."

Senior Labor figure

"The writing was on the wall," Ynet reported a senior figure in Labor as saying, adding that "Labor fought for crumbs against Meretz, and one cannot repeat the 'gevalt' campaign every time anew. If she does not go, she will be expelled."