Benny Gantz
Benny GantzElad Malka

Defense Minister and Alternate Prime Minister Benny Gantz said that new elections could still be avoid if Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu acts immediately to pass a two-year state budget.

Speaking at a Blue and White party gathering Wednesday ahead of deliberations in the Knesset on a bill to dissolve the legislature and head to new elections, Gantz excoriated Netanyahu, placing the blame on him for the impending dissolution of the Knesset.

“Netanyahu has taken nine million people hostage,” said Gantz, adding, “if there will be a budget, there won’t be elections.”

Earlier on Wednesday, Blue and White pulled a proposed amendment to Israel’s proto-constitutional Basic Laws, amid concerns the bill would fail to garner sufficient support.

The proposal, titled “Basic Law: Equality” is intended to combat all forms of discrimination.

Opponents of the proposal, including coalition members, fear it could give a carte blanche for judicial activism, and even empower the Supreme Court with sweeping rights to overturn Knesset laws it deems as being discriminatory.