Blue and White on the verge of joining Yamina?

Party officials pressing Benny Gantz to unite with Yamina - on condition that Bezalel Smotrich and the National Union aren't on the list.

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

Benny Gantz
Benny Gantz
Oren Ben Hakoon/POOL

Senior officials in the Blue and White party have deliberated over the past few days on the possibility of forming a joint list with the rightist Yamina party, Yediot Aharonot reported Wednesday morning.

In addition, officials from Blue and White have held talks with Yamina leaders regarding a possible joint run, though top officials from the two parties have yet to meet on the issue.

Blue and White officials are growing increasingly concerned the party may fail to cross the 3.25% electoral threshold, and thus be left out of the next Knesset.

While most polls show the party narrowly crossing the threshold with four to five seats, at least one recent poll found Blue and White under the threshold.

Some in Blue and White now see an alliance with Yamina as the logical choice to prevent Blue and White’s electoral elimination. With a wave of departures from the party recently, including by prominent left-wing members like outgoing Justice Minister Avi Nissenkorn, the party’s center of gravity has shifted to the Right, making it more suitable for an alliance with Yamina, some party officials have argued.

But supporters of an alliance with Yamina say the right-wing list would first have to drop the more socially conservative National Union, led by Bezalel Smotrich, before a joint list could be formed.

Yamina responded to the report by saying that no such alliance with Blue and White is currently being considered.

On Tuesday, a meeting between Yamina chairman Naftali Bennett and Smotrich failed to reach a breakthrough in talks for a joint run.

Smotrich is reportedly laying the groundwork for a possible independent run and is rebranding the party he heads as the "Religious Zionist party led by Bezalel Smotrich".

Ads of the rebranded party will be published this weekend in religious Zionist newspapers and in the Shabbat leaflets, as part of Smotrich's effort to build an option for an independent run in the elections.

A poll conducted by the Midgam Institute which was published on Channel 12 News on Tuesday found that if Bennett separates from Smotrich, his party would win 16 seats (one at the expense of Gideon Sa’ar and one at the expense of Yair Lapid) while Smotrich would win just 2.3% of the votes.