Likud MK: Next time we'll give Gantz an opportunity

MK Miki Zohar clarifies there will not be a third election if the Likud fails to form a government after this September's vote.

Elad Benari, Canada ,

Miki Zohar
Miki Zohar
Yonatan Sindel/Flash 90

MK Miki Zohar (Likud), who initiated the bill to dissolve the Knesset after Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu failed to form a coalition, clarified on Friday that if a similar situation arises after the upcoming elections in September, the Likud will give Blue and White chairman Benny Gantz the opportunity to form a coalition.

"At no stage during the entire process of dissolving the Knesset did we want to go to elections. We tried to form a government as we promised the public, and in accordance with what our potential partners promised the public,” said Zohar, who spoke in Kfar Saba.

"There was not one right-wing party that did not promise to sit with Netanyahu, including Avigdor Liberman," Zohar continued. “Unfortunately, Liberman recognized that he is the deciding factor and insisted that he was not willing to change even one comma in the Draft Law, a position that sounded absurd to us. In essence, the Draft Law does nothing, because the IDF says it wants to reduce the number of recruits to the IDF, and not only in the haredi sector. The law was not a serious factor in the recruitment process, and Liberman insisted on it for some unclear reason. He cheated his voters."

Zohar denied reports about the possibility of forming a Likud-led government with the support of the Arab parties.

"We did not consider the possibility for even one second. They hinted to me that they were willing to allow us to form a government, I passed the information to the Prime Minister and the answer unequivocally was that there was no chance," said Zohar.

Meanwhile, Channel 12 News reported on Friday that officials in the Likud and Blue and White parties have made clear in recent days, following Liberman’s statements that he will try to impose a unity government between the two parties, that if the situation in the polls remains the same, both parties intend to form the government alone - without Liberman.

Liberman declared several weeks ago that he would force the establishment of a unity government between the Likud and Blue and White parties following the September elections.

According to Channel 12, neither Likud nor Blue and White intend to go to a third election. Recent polls indicate that a situation will occur in which no bloc will succeed in forming a government, thus leaving Likud and Blue and White with the undesirable option of forming a unity government.

The Likud, for its part, does not want to invite Blue and White to the government without the haredim, and Blue and White is sticking to its demand not to sit in a government headed by Netanyahu.

At the same time, according to Channel 12, both sides have made clear that there will be no need for Liberman in order to form a unity government. This would leave the defense portfolio open and also leave them with the option of inviting another party or two to the coalition while leaving Yisrael Beytenu in the opposition.

(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.)