With the political system in Israel in turmoil - yet again - more shuffling between the parties and Knesset members both current and former is expected. One old face that may find its way back into the halls of the Knesset is reportedly Tzipi Livni, one-time Likudnik who later headed her own party, Hatnua ("the movement") and even joined up with the left-wing Labor party to form the Zionist Union between 2014 and 2019.
According to a report in Israel Hayom, Blue & White party leader and Defense Minister Benny Gantz is now courting Livni with the offer of a top place on his party's slate. Livni has yet to make her decision, the report continues, and contacts between the two sides are ongoing.
With Yesh Atid's Yair Lapid, now acting-Prime Minister, still undisputably the head of the second-largest party in all polls, Gantz is seeking to expand his own party's electoral base and undermine the widespread perception that Lapid is the obvious leader of the center-left camp.
Other recent reports have suggested that Gantz has also reached out to Justice Minister Gideon Sa'ar, head of the New Hope party he founded in advance of the most recent elections, with the suggestion of a joint run. With New Hope hovering around the electoral threshold in all recent polls, Sa'ar may accept the offer as his way out of political oblivion.
Another potential recruit to Blue & White is former IDF Chief of Staff Gadi Eizenkot, who is considering entering politics. Blue & White is not Eizenkot's only option nor necessarily his preferred one. According to some political commentators, he would prefer to join Lapid, not as an individual but as the head of a mini-faction of his own. Lapid, however, is loathe to accept a "party within a party" into Yesh Atid, and therefore Eizenkot currently seems poised to join Blue & White instead, given that he and Gantz already have a positive relationship dating back to their days in the IDF.
Although Blue & White's showing in recent polls puts it far behind Yesh Atid, it still boasts a respectable showing of around nine seats, which could (depending on many factors) make it kingmaker in future negotiations for a new government. In such a scenario, Gantz could even demand a rotation agreement for the premiership in exchange for his cooperation, or even attempt to form a government himself as prime minister.
Officially Blue & White denies all this, with Gantz's office issuing a terse statement saying that, "Reports are inaccurate."