Yaalon (right) and Ashkenazi
Yaalon (right) and Ashkenazi Photo by Hadas Parush/Flash90

Senior Blue and White party leaders Gabi Ashkenazi and Moshe Yaalon have agreed to form a minority government which will rely on the support of Arab lawmakers from the Opposition – but only if Avidgor Liberman’s secular rightist Yisrael Beytenu party joins the coalition.

According to a report by Channel 12 Sunday night, MKs Yaalon and Ashkenazi have said they will only accept a minority government led by their own Blue and White party if Liberman joins the coalition, reducing the power of the Joint Arab List over the government.

Under such an arrangement, the far-left Democratic Union may choose to remain outside of the government, further moderating the minority government’s position. According to the Channel 12 report, Yaalon and Ashkenazi have expressed their preference for this option in forming a minority government.

During a Likud conference in Tel Aviv, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu warned that a minority government relying on the support of the Joint Arab List would constitute a “terrible danger” to the State of Israel, and called on Blue and White party leaders and Avidgor Liberman to reject a minority government as an option.

"We are at a crucial moment for the State of Israel. The leaders of Blue and White - Benny Gantz, Gabi Ashkenazi, and Boogie Yaalon - have decided to form a minority government that will be dependent on members of the Joint Arab List," Netanyahu claimed.

Netanyahu noted that he opposed reliance on the anti-Zionist Joint Arab List over its positions, not the fact that its lawmakers are Arabs.

"When I say [Joint] Arab [List], I don't mean because they're Arabs. Arabs can be Zionists and support the State of Israel. But the [Joint Arab List] isn't Zionist, and they don't support the State of Israel."

"During the election you campaigned on the slogan 'Israel above all else'. But now the truth comes out, it isn't 'Israel above all else', it is 'the government above all else'."

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