Gantz makes final push for left-wing union

Israel Resilience chief to meets with Yair Lapid, reportedly willing to consider rotational arrangement for premiership if left wins.

David Rosenberg ,

Flash 90

Israel Resilience chairman and former IDF Chief of Staff Benny Gantz met with Yesh Atid chairman Yair Lapid Wednesday, as the two make a final push towards a possible left-wing union for the upcoming elections to the 21st Knesset.

With Thursday’s deadline for submitting Knesset lists approaching, the two leaders met Wednesday morning after Gantz called on Lapid Tuesday night to take advantage of the “historic opportunity” to create viable alternative to the Likud.

“As soon as this conference is over,” Gantz said Tuesday evening, “I will call my friend, Yair Lapid, and I will invite him to meet with me… to put aside every other consideration and together to put Israel before everything else.”

According to a report by Channel 12 Wednesday afternoon, during their meeting, Gantz and Lapid discussed a possible ‘rotational’ arrangement, under which Gantz would serve for Prime Minister for two years before resigning and handing the position over the Lapid – in the event their joint list is able to defeat the Likud.

Senior Israel Resilience party officials said Gantz hadn’t ruled out such an arrangement.

In recent polls, Israel Resilience – which is running on a joint list with the smaller Telem faction of former Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon - has consistently polled behind the Likud, averaging 20 seats over the past two weeks, compared to an average of 30 seats for the Likud.

A joint list with Yesh Atid, however, could catapult Israel Resilience into a tie – or even potentially the lead – with such an alliance netting anywhere from 29 to 37 seats.

In addition, representatives of the Israel Resilience party continue to meet with MK Orly Levy’s Gesher (Bridge) faction, in the hopes of expanding the left-wing alliance further.

The prospect of a united left-wing bloc, potentially spanning four separate factions – Israel Resilience, Yesh Atid, Telem, and Gesher – has prompted Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to delay a planned trip to Russia until after the deadline for submitting candidate lists for the Knesset.

Netanyahu had been slated to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday, but pushed off the meeting by several days, as he continues to press several smaller factions on the Israeli right to form a united ticket.