Gantz rejects Smotrich, but not Bennett and Shaked

Blue and White chairman rules out coalition with Joint List and "those who are racist and radical like Smotrich".

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

Bezalel Smotrich
Bezalel Smotrich
Kobi Richter/TPS

Blue and White chairman Benny Gantz gave a series of interviews on Saturday night after a lengthy silence.

In an interview with the Ynet news website, Gantz commented on the incident in which Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu mocked Gantz using a video in which Gantz appears to stutter.

"I'm stable, I'm a leader, I don’t stutter. And let's say I did stutter, does it make sense to the public that a Prime Minister mocks people for weaknesses they may have?" said Gantz.

Gantz continued, "I begin my partnership with the secular parties and the ability to produce the required statesmanlike Zionism here. Anyone who does not recognize the State of Israel as Jewish and democratic cannot be part of it, anyone who is racist and radical like [Transportation Minister Bezalel] Smotrich cannot be part of this. Everyone else who recognizes Israel as Jewish and democratic will accept the basic principles.”

The Blue and White chairman said that the members of the predominantly Arab Joint List party could not be part of his government, and explained that he would not even need their support from outside.

"In the first phase, a minority government will be based on Labor-Gesher-Meretz, a giant Blue and White, [Yisrael Beytenu chairman Avigdor] Liberman who said he does not want a fourth election, and other partners,” he said.

Gantz explained that progress must be made on the Trump peace plan in cooperation with the Palestinian Arabs and Arab states. "I am in favor of annexation, in applying the law, I am in favor of doing this out of maximum dialogue and coordination as much as possible. If we have no choice, we first have to exhaust the other options and that is where I intend to go."