Netanyahu upset about Gantz's behavior

Coalition suffers blow as first vote delayed.

Likud leader Benjamin Netanyahu and Blue and White leader Benny Gantz  (photo credit: REUTERS)
Likud leader Benjamin Netanyahu and Blue and White leader Benny Gantz
(photo credit: REUTERS)
The relationship of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Alternate Prime Minister Benny Gantz hit a snag in their first week working together due to behavior by Gantz that Netanyahu saw as “a finger in the eye,” sources in Likud said on Wednesday night, confirming a report on Channel 13.
The sources said Netanyahu was upset with statements Gantz made in an interview with Channel 12 in which he blamed Netanyahu for a clause in the coalition agreement guaranteeing a residence for both of them funded by the state during the entire term. The Likud sources said that in fact, even though Gantz will live at home in Rosh Ha’ayin until he becomes prime minister, his home will be funded by the state during that time, with a staff, cleaning and security.
Netanyahu also did not like a statement Gantz made in the interview ruling out bypassing the Supreme Court if it does not let Netanyahu serve as alternate prime minister under Gantz in a year and a half. Ronen Tzur, an adviser to Gantz, told Army Radio on Wednesday that he expected Gantz to become prime minister sooner than November 2021, because of Netanyahu’s criminal cases.
“The heat must be getting to Tzur,” a Likud spokesman said. “He should drink some cold water.”
Blue and White got angry at Likud on Wednesday for postponing until next week a vote on the controversial Expanded Norwegian Law. The reason for the delay was a technical dispute over Knesset committees.
The Likud said the bill could not come to a vote, because the appropriate Knesset committees to legislate it had not been formed. A meeting of the Knesset’s Arrangements Committee that had been set for Wednesday morning was delayed due to disputes over committees.
The bill would enable five ministers in Blue and White and two in Likud to quit the Knesset and be replaced by the next candidates on the party’s lists. If the ministers quit the cabinet, they could return to the Knesset at the expense of the new MKs. A separate bill would give new MKs in factions that have split 24 hours to decide which one to join. The bill could allow candidates of Yesh Atid and Telem, which are in the opposition, to instead join Blue and White in the coalition.
Yesh Atid expressed satisfaction with the bill’s postponement, saying “No matter why it was delayed, we are happy that a bill that would have wasted NIS 100 million will not be brought to a vote.”
Netanyahu’s former Chief of Staff Natan Eshel told Maariv that the real reason the bill was not brought to a vote was that the Likud was worried it would lead to the coalition losing three mandates to the opposition if the candidates of Yesh Atid and Telem do not defect to Blue and White.
The Knesset’s Arrangement’s Committee voted nine to five on Monday morning to expedite the bill, which the new government intended to pass in the first day of voting in the new Knesset on Wednesday. Among the candidates who would join Blue and White, two are loyalists of Blue and White leader Benny Gantz, two are from Yesh Atid and one from Telem. Gantz wants to pass the bill into law by the beginning of June, because out of his party’s 15 MKs, 12 are ministers and three chair Knesset committees.