Sa'ar and Gantz
Sa'ar and GantzElad Malka

The center-right New Hope and center-left Blue and White will run together on a joint slate for this November’s Knesset election, the two parties announced Sunday night.

In a joint press conference, Justice Minister and New Hope chief Gideon Sa’ar addressed reporters alongside Defense Minister and Blue and White chairman Benny Gantz to formally declare the political alliance between the two parties.

“We will run on a joint list of Blue and White with the New Hope in the coming election,” Sa’ar told reporters. “A united political camp like this can break through the political dead-end. The goal we are working towards after the coming election is the establishment of a broad national government which does not have to rely on fringe elements.”

Gantz blamed former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for the ongoing political deadlock, accusing him of polarizing Israeli politics and depriving the majority of voters of a moderate, centrist option.

“We face an illogical and unprecedented internal social situation,” Gantz said. “Israelis love their country, they love each other, and agree about most things, yet Israel is stuck in the worst democratic crisis in its history. Too often the extremes have set the tone, while the Israeli center is left without a voice.”

“Over this last year, we learned that the fringe elements need to point towards the center. Today, we are laying the foundation for the next government,” Gantz continued, saying the new union will help to solve the ongoing political crisis and form a centrist political party.

According to the agreement hammered out between the two sides, Benny Gantz will lead the new united ticket, with Sa’ar taking the second spot, followed by Immigration Minister Penina Tamano-Shatta (Blue and White), Culture and Sport Minister Hili Tropper (Blue and White), Education Minister Yifat Shasha-Biton (New Hope), Minister in the Defense Ministry Michael Biton (Blue and White), Jerusalem Affairs Minister and Minister for Construction and Housing Ze’ev Elkin (New Hope), with the eighth and ninth slots reserved for Blue and White candidates, followed by two New Hope candidates.

The agreement was inked following polls showing the New Hope party barely crossing the electoral threshold, winning between four to five seats, while the Blue and White faction has held stable at between eight to nine seats in recent polls.