Gantz to Netanyahu: Give up on immunity, go for unity

Blue and White head to PM: If you publicly announce you are giving up on 'immunity bloc' we can have immediate direct negotiations.

Tags: Benny Gantz
Arutz Sheva Staff ,

Netanyahu and Gantz
Netanyahu and Gantz

Blue and White Chairman MK Benny Gantz said at the opening of a Blue and White faction meeting Monday afternoon that another election campaign could still be prevented.

"We spent dozens of hours in the negotiating rooms. Netanyahu remained with the same mantra - the immunity bloc, the demand to be first, and also a total veto on progress on basic issues," Gantz stated. "Zero time was spent on matters of essence, all words of barbed wire on complex structures of immunity and fortification. And yet, even today, the chances of preventing these unnecessary and costly elections have not been exhausted."

Gantz called on Netanyahu, "I repeat today what I told you and your representatives from the first day of the negotiations - if you give up on immunity, we can be partners to the beginning of a discourse. You already dragged us to the elections twice because of immunity, cemented the basic lines of the bloc because of immunity, and even now you think that more elections will allow you a majority that will allow you immunity."

"I urge you to pledge with your own voice that you do not ask for immunity," Gantz added, "Come to the citizens of Israel to inform them, before you drag them into another election campaign, what your intentions really are. I urge you to do so today so that we can negotiate directly, without the immunity bloc. On the establishment of a unity government. we will find the way. We will save the people of Israel from these elections, stop engaging the politicians ourselves, and return to work for the citizens of the State of Israel."

"In the State of Israel, which is founded on the foundations of justice in the spirit of the prophets of Israel, the prime minister must be an example for the masses. He must certainly be available to deal with state affairs. It is also a matter of value and normality and not just a practical issue of calendar dates."

The "immunity bloc" Gantz referred to is a bloc of 55 MKs from the right-wing and religious parties. These MKs do not want to sit in a government led by Gantz and his number two, MK Yair Lapid. These MKs agreed to stick together and negotiate as a single bloc, with Likud's negotiating team speaking for all of them. They also agreed that none would enter a coalition without the other parties, and none would enter a coalition led by someone other than Netanyahu.

"Giving up on the immunity bloc" - the demand made by Gantz and Lapid as a precondition for negotiations - would essentially mean forcing Netanyahu to break his word to the bloc's voters and violate the bloc's agreement, which he signed.

Contrary to Gantz's implication, the bloc does not have the power to grant Netanyahu parliamentary immunity and protect him from being indicted.