Proposal: PM Netanyahu, Benny Gantz, should rotate premiership

Likud's MK BItan suggests rotational power-sharing arrangement that may allow unity government, but contradicts election promises.

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

Benny Gantz
Benny Gantz
Kobi Richter/TPS

Former coalition chairman MK David Bitan (Likud) on Monday morning suggested that the Likud and Blue and White parties join a unity government, with Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Blue and White candidate MK Benny Gantz rotating as prime minister, Maariv reported.

In an interview with 103 FM Radio, Bitan said that Gantz is "exaggerating" and "creating spins," both of which "harm the President and the process of forming a government."

"At first they wanted to try forming a government first, and then they decided they don't want to be first," he explained. "Until yesterday, they didn't want to remove anyone from the list of those recommending [Gantz]. Gantz created unworthy spins, and he did it with Balad (a faction of the Joint Arab List)."

Bitan added: "Just because Gantz won two more Knesset seats, doesn't mean he deserves to form a government. He has 57 [recommendations] including the Joint Arab List. He's going to pull them into the coalition."

When the interviewer pointed out that the Joint Arab List will not sit in the coalition, Bitan answered: "There's a cooperation here, which creates commitment and which will be repaid. How will he handle the problems in Gaza, Syria, or Lebanon when he's cooperating with them?"

"We know the Joint List's stance. He'll be sure not to make any mistakes, because he needs them."

Former Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin received support from the Arab parties, but "that was for a short period of time," Bitan said. "Gantz won't ensure Israel's security. Right now we're in a problematic situation. If the Likud isn't part of the coalition, no government will survive. He brought the Joint Arab List in through the back door."

Bitan also said that he supports giving Netanyahu the first chance at forming a government, and that the Likud may grow by one Knesset seat.

He also said that "if they come to an agreement to rotate as prime minister, my suggestion would be that Netanyahu serve first, for the first year, Gantz serve for two years, and then the premiership go back to the Likud or Netanyahu for another year. That would depend on the results of his (Netanyahu's - ed.) court case."

"I think this idea would solve a lot of problems for Netanyahu, for Blue and White, and for the Likud members who want to succeed Netanyahu.

"Netanyahu has asked Gantz to meet with him, and Gantz preferred to meet with [Joint Arab List Chairman MK] Ayman Odeh. In the end they'll meet, there won't be another option."

"If there isn't a broad unity government, Gantz won't be able to form a government."

Regarding whether Israel is in for a third round of elections, Bitan said: "In my opinion the pressure the public is putting on everyone will work, and we won't hold elections for a third time."

Bitan also said that "it doesn't matter who tries to form a government first and who tries second. We need to form a broad nationalist unity government. Not a narrow government like [Yisrael Beytenu Chairman MK Avigdor] Liberman wants."