Balad chairman to attend meeting with Blue and White

Blue and White will try to convince Joint List party to agree to minority government which they will support from the outside.

Elad Benari ,

Gantz, Ya'alon and Ashkenazi
Gantz, Ya'alon and Ashkenazi
Miriam Alster/Flash 90

Representatives of the Blue and White party will meet on Wednesday with the leaders of the predominantly Arab Joint List party in an attempt to win their support for the formation of a minority government.

Channel 12 News reported that the chairman of the Joint List, Ayman Odeh, will not take part in the meeting, but that Balad chairman MK Mtanes Shihadeh will attend.

Earlier on Tuesday, Odeh described some of the demands that the party representatives will present in their meeting with the representatives of Blue and White.

In exchange for the support of the Arab MKs for a minority government led by Benny Gantz, the Joint List would demand to stop Jewish visits to the Temple Mount and the cancellation of the unilateral steps in the US “Deal of the Century”, such as the application of sovereignty in Judea and Samaria.

"We can't just say: Cancel Kaminitz [Law] and go bomb in Gaza or go for the Deal of the Century. We have clear demands: to stop and announce the cessation of all unilateral plans,” Odeh said in a live broadcast on his Facebook page.

"We have a position on the Al-Aqsa Mosque and the cessation of extremist settlers entering the Al-Aqsa Mosque. This is something that happened during Netanyahu's time and we want to restore the status quo: Al-Aqsa is a place of worship for Muslims and East Jerusalem should be the capital of the Palestinian state. We will focus on the Al-Aqsa issue at this stage," he added.

On Tuesday morning, MK Yair Lapid, one of the leaders of Blue and White, admitted that his party intends to form a narrow government with Yisrael Beytenu and Labor-Gesher-Meretz, with the help of the Arab parties.

"Contrary to all the lies that Bibi is distributing, the Joint List will not be part of this government. They will vote once from the outside, and that will be it. Bibi has made such collaborations with them a thousand times," Lapid claimed.

"I admit in advance, this is not the government we wanted. On the other hand, it is far superior to the current paralysis. Such a government could make a budget, the government ministries would go back to work, the Knesset committees would open, we’d take care of small businesses, avoid mass layoffs in the economy,” he added.

Lapid's statement goes against all the promises made by senior Blue and White officials in the election campaign, when they said they would will establish a government that will not rely on the Arab parties.

Reshet Bet radio reported on Tuesday that Lapid and other Blue and White leaders are exerting heavy pressure on Knesset members Zvi Hauser and Yoaz Hendel, demanding that they agree to such a minority government.

For the time being, Hendel and Hauser remain firm in their stance, making it clear to Blue and White chairman Benny Gantz, as well as to the chairman of the Telem party of which they are members, MK Moshe Ya'alon, that they do not intend to consent to such a minority government.