Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu called on Blue and White party chief Benny Gantz to form a unity government with the Likud, telling the former IDF chief of staff the ‘ball is in his court’ after President Reuven Rivlin tasked Netanyahu with forming a government.
“I compromised a great deal,” Netanyahu said, during a gathering of Likud party activists Thursday night.
“We agreed to consider the president’s compromise arrangement,” continued Netanyahu, referring to President Rivlin’s suggestion the two parties break the electoral deadlock by agreeing to a power-sharing arrangement.
“Now I say to you: Benny, the ball is in your court now. I know that you have all kinds of advisers telling you to do this or that, but sometimes the right thing to do is the simple thing. Get up and do something – demonstrate responsibility and join a unity [government].”
Aside from his overtures to Gantz, Prime Minister blasted the Blue and White party, accusing it of plotting to dismantle the Likud.
“It is no secret that we wanted a right-wing government. More than a million citizens voted for the Likud, and I thank each and every one of you. Over two million voters backed me as prime minister,” continued Netanyahu, referring to all the votes to parties which endorsed Netanyahu as premier. “That’s more than any other candidate.”
“Despite all of these accomplishments, however, we have to say the truth: it still is not enough to make a government. But the other side also doesn’t have enough to make a government. They also didn’t get what they wanted. Therefore, the only option is a broad unity government, what the president called for yesterday.”
“But on the other side [Blue and White], they have all kinds of ideas… at the beginning, they thought that they could break up the nationalist camp, splitting us from our allies. That didn’t happen. We have close partners, and after I got the mandate [to form a government], thank God, it can’t happen mathematically. The cooperation between us [the right-wing bloc] is stronger than ever. So now what does the other side think? What do they imagine they can do? Now they think that they can break up the Likud.”