Likud and Blue and White disagree on sovereignty, appointment of judges

Despite positive meeting between Netanyahu and Gantz, the coalition negotiations are stuck.

Elad Benari ,

Benny Gantz
Benny Gantz
Yonatan Sindel/Flash 90

Coalition negotiations between Binyamin Netanyahu and Benny Gantz have run into difficulties, and despite the positive meeting between the Prime Minister and the Blue and White chairman this past Friday, the talks may end in an impasse.

Negotiating teams for both parties feel that they have reached a real crisis in the talks, with both sides trying to reap profits and place pressure on the other side.

As of now, Gantz is refusing the Prime Minister's demand that sovereignty in Judea and Samaria and the Jordan Valley be applied immediately after the establishment of the government and before the US presidential elections in November.

Blue and White is also unwilling to agree to the Likud's demand to have veto power over the appointment of top judges in the Judicial Selection Committee and even abolish the representative from the opposition in the committee.

Officials in Blue and White told the Yediot Aharonot newspaper they would be able to reach an agreement on the issue of sovereignty, but would not allow the Likud to get a veto in the Judical Selection Committee to thwart the appointment of former State Attorney Shai Nitzan.

A member of the Blue and White negotiating team said of the crisis in the talks that the window of opportunity for forming a government is closing. "Neither side is willing to budge. Netanyahu wants annexation here and now. He is acting like he is forming an all right-wing government."

On Sunday, Gantz called President Reuven Rivlin to update him on the efforts to establish a unity government. Gantz informed the President that in his estimation, he may have to ask him, after the Passover holiday, for an extension of the mandate that was granted to him to form a government, as permitted by law.

Rivlin has made it clear that he will consider the request based on the circumstances that will be presented to him ahead of the end of Gantz’s mandate, on April 13 at midnight.

It should be noted that if the mandate to form a government is passed to Netanyahu, the Likud will control the Knesset's Arrangements Committee and could thwart the legislative initiatives against Netanyahu, if any are brought forward.