Gantz, Liberman vow to avoid third election

There are low expectations for a political breakthrough on the formation of a national unity government by next Wednesday, when Gantz’s mandate ends.

Blue and White leader Benny Gantz meets with Avigdor Liberman, November 14, 2019 (photo credit: ELAD MALKA)
Blue and White leader Benny Gantz meets with Avigdor Liberman, November 14, 2019
(photo credit: ELAD MALKA)
Blue and White leader Benny Gantz and Yisrael Beytenu chairman Avigdor Liberman emerged from their meeting at Ramat Gan’s Kfar Hamaccabiah Hotel on Thursday promising to do what it takes to prevent an unprecedented third election.
In a statement to the press at the hotel after the meeting, Gantz blamed the impasse on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
“Netanyahu continues to maintain the bloc and to strive for elections," Gantz said. "I have made my position clear regarding all options on the table - I am prepared to consider any option that aligns with my principles regarding indictment.  We have scheduled to meet again at the beginning of next week.  We do not want elections and we will make every effort until the last minute to avoid them.  There was good discourse and we will continue to work together.”
Liberman lamented that not all of Blue and White’s leaders have endorsed President Reuven Rivlin’s compromise plan.
According to the compromise, which Likud supports openly and Blue and White has purposely not openly endorsed yet, Netanyahu would be be prime minister first and then take an extended break while fighting corruption charges. According to the plan, Gantz would take Netanyahu’s place as prime minister when Netanyahu is incapciated, after initially serving as vice prime minister.
“I will do all I can to bring about a Likud-Blue and White government and avoid elections, because of security and economic challenges,” Liberman told the press after the meeting.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu postponed a meeting with Liberman that was set for Thursday, rescheduling for Sunday at 5 p.m. Liberman criticized Likud's leader in an interview on Army Radio, suggesting that there is cooperation between Netanyahu and terror organization Hamas.
At this rate, Liberman said, Hamas will become a second Hezbollah from the south.
Liberman also said, "We're at a critical time, when a minor organization can paralyze half the country. We need a unity government."
He further added that there needs to be an economic solution in Gaza, as well as military one.
"We can't act only with force or only with diplomacy," Liberman said.