Joint List Chairman MK Ayman Odeh revealed in a video posted Wednesday on his official Facebook page the reason that led to the letter being sent to the president stating that Joint List MKs from the Balad party did not recommend Gantz for prime minister.
Odeh explained that it was specifically the Blue and White party that asked him to remove the support of Balad, with the aim of ensuring that Netanyahu would be the first to receive the mandate to form a government.
"We want the mandate to be given first to Netanyahu and only afterwards to us," Odeh said, quoting what he claimed he was told in the conversation.
"They believe that Netanyahu will not succeed in forming a government, and after that happens - the other parties will not want new elections for the third time, there will be public pressure - and then Gantz will succeed in forming a government," Odeh added, explaining the logic behind the seemingly strange request.
According to Odeh, "[Blue and White MK] Ofer Shelah came to me and said, we only ask for 10 recommenders, not 13. Why 10 and not 13? So that we have 54 recommenders and Netanyahu 55 - and he will get the job first."
MK Shelah addressed the conversation with Odeh this morning in an interview with Galei Tzahal, not denying that it had taken place. "I spoke with Odeh and Tibi - I told them that the civil matters are also important to Jewish citizens and that Blue and White will promote them."
However, Shelach claimed in the interview, "Odeh made a leadership decision that the list would recommend Gantz - it's a worthwhile decision but I did not lead it. I do not determine how Balad will vote."