Gantz rules out joining gov't led by Netanyahu

"Blue and White led by me will not agree to sit in a government with a leader against whom stands a severe indictment," Gantz says.

AFP and Arutz Sheva Staff ,

Rivlin with Gantz and Netanyahu
Rivlin with Gantz and Netanyahu
Haim Zach, GPO

Benny Gantz on Wednesday ruled out his Blue and White alliance joining a government led by a prime minister facing "serious indictment," a reference to Binyamin Netanyahu's legal situation.

"Blue and White led by me will not agree to sit in a government with a leader against whom stands a severe indictment," Gantz said in a statement.

That came after Netanyahu was tasked by President Reuven Rivlin with forming a new government following last week's deadlocked election, as calls mount for a unity coalition.

While granting Netanyahu the mandate, Rivlin emphasized that, in any event, the formation of a government was contingent on compromise.

"Having consulted with representatives of all the factions, I hereby announce that outgoing prime minister MK Binyamin Netanyahu has this evening received the mandate to form a government," Rivlin said. "At the conclusion of the consultations, neither MK and Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu nor MK and former IDF Chief of Staff Benny Gantz had 61 votes to form a government. The purpose of the law is to form a government as quickly as possible, and therefore the decision on who is asked to form the government was influenced by who has the better chance of forming a government."

"At the same time," he added, "it is important to say that with the election results in mind, and the fact that neither of the candidates received the support of 61 MKs, assigning the responsibility for forming the government one of the candidates is in itself not the solution. Doing so does not detract in any way whatsoever from the responsibility of both candidates, and all parties, to create the conditions for resolving the political impasse we find ourselves in. The job of forming Israel’s government is now in the hands of all elected officials of all parties.

"It does not matter who I entrust first with the task, and if required and if it is the right thing to do, who I turn to second - as long as there are boycotts of whole parts of Israeli society, as long as there is no interest in forming new alliances between large and small parties, as long as there is no real desire to reach an agreements and to compromise, no government can be established."