Benny Gantz
Benny GantzElad Malka

Blue and White chairman and Defense Minister Benny Gantz acknowledged on Friday that he will not serve as Prime Minister since his rotation agreement with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu will not be implemented.

At the same time Gantz, who spoke on Channel 12’s Ofira and Berkovic show, declared, "I will not sit [in the Prime Minister’s Residence] in Balfour but I will determine who will sit in Balfour, and I tell you - it will not be Netanyahu."

He acknowledged that he was wrong to join Netanyahu’s government.

“The level of trust I naturally have in people is something that is not so appropriate for the political field," Gantz said. "There should be a little more suspicion, and I hoped Netanyahu would rise to the occasion, he did not and to some extent deceived me. The people were yearning for a functioning government in such a difficult time of coronavirus, an economic crisis and a social crisis, that its leaders would unite, stop fighting with each other and work for them, and in that Bibi failed. I had hopes, I understood, now I am making amends. I'm going to make sure Netanyahu is replaced, that's my goal right now.”

He stressed, "I will not sit under Netanyahu one more time, that is over. You can fool me but it only happens once. Once someone lies to me, it is over. They will not fool me twice, period."

Asked whether he has not yet understood that one has to be crooked in order to succeed in politics, Gantz replied, “You want someone who is dirty? Someone who is crooked? That’s not me, don’t vote for me. If you want someone honest who serves the interests of the state, who gets up in the morning and is not worried about what will happen to him but what will happen to you – that’s me, I'll be happy to receive your support."

While polls currently project him to win just four or five seats in the upcoming election, Gantz expressed hopes those numbers will go up. "I’ve called for alliances, but there will be a ballot for Blue and White led by Benny Gantz.”

Gantz also apologized for describing Yesh Atid chairman Yair Lapid as someone who “hates people” in his last appearance on the Ofira and Berkovic show.

"I very much regret this statement, I do not like to hurt people. But I suggest putting the quarrels between politicians aside. I have one political task - I'm going to make sure Netanyahu is replaced, and I call for alliances, I know it's difficult. More than that, even if no one joins me, I will continue to run to the end and support whoever leads the bloc to replace Netanyahu."

(Arutz Sheva’s North American desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)