MK Yariv Levin, chairman of the Likud party and the coordinator of the opposition parties, has expressed his doubts regarding the likelihood of Defense Minister and Blue & White party leader Benny Gantz being successfully wooed away from the government, even if he is offered the premiership.
Speaking to Galei Yisrael, Levin admitted that the opposition’s chances of toppling the government were not good. “I recall saying from the outset that toppling this government within a short frame of time was going to be very challenging,” he said. “The various coalition members have strong interests – personal ones, mainly – in holding things together, although as time goes by, the chances of toppling the government do increase,” he noted.
With regard to sporadic efforts made to woo Gantz to leave the government and join up with the Likud party, Levin was pessimistic. “It doesn’t make sense for us to join up with Gantz,” he said. “It didn’t work out last time around, after all. We have more chance of forming a right-wing government from the parties within the opposition alone. I don’t entirely rule out the possibility of joining up with Blue & White,” he added, “but if such a thing does happen, it has to be according to certain conditions, as our interests are quite clearly defined. In any case, I’m not in a hurry to do anything at this point.”
Levin was then asked to comment on the possibility that Interior Minister Ayelet Shaked (Yamina), a close ally of Prime Minister Bennett, might actually be the one to jump ship and join the opposition to form a right-wing government.
“There is no Shaked option,” Levin responded. “She, herself, was the architect of the current government; she was the one who built it. It was Shaked who persuaded [Yamina MK Nir] Orbach to join, and all this game of talking right-wing and then sitting in a left-wing government… I suggest we all sober up and forget about Shaked. It’s time we stopped considering that possibility and just accepted that this is the way she behaves.”
With regard to the mistakes made by the former government, Levin singled out its failure to reform the judicial system. “Without a doubt, the Likud party did not do what it should have done with respect to the legal system,” he said. “In fact, if you ask me, I think that may just well be the reason why we are now in the situation in which we find ourselves. At least I admit that if people ask me; I don’t sell them fairy tales.”