Opinion

Gantz has no government, and he knows it

Theoretically, Blue and White leader Benny Gantz has the votes to form a coalition. In practice, though it'll never happen, which is why Gantz is now attempting to unseat Netanyahu via legislation.

Blue and White Party leader Benny Gantz speaks to supporters at the party's headquarters in Tel Aviv on election night, March 3, 2020. Photo by Miriam Alster/Flash90.
Blue and White Party leader Benny Gantz speaks to supporters at the party's headquarters in Tel Aviv on election night, March 3, 2020. Photo by Miriam Alster/Flash90.
Mati Tuchfeld
Mati Tuchfeld writes for Israel Hayom.

Blue and White Party leader Benny Gantz doesn’t need the bills his faction presented on Monday to render Benjamin Netanyahu ineligible to continue to serve as Israel’s prime minister. Having received the mandate to form a government from Israeli President Reuven Rivlin, all Gantz needs to do is assemble a coalition. This would push Netanyahu out of office and see him replaced by Gantz.

Theoretically, it could happen by tomorrow morning. Nothing prevents Gantz from striking a deal with members of the left-wing bloc, who number 61 Knesset members now that Gesher Party head Orly Levy-Abekasis has dropped out, to establish a coalition.

But Gantz knows he doesn’t really have a government, and not only because Blue and White Kneset members Zvi Hauser and Yoaz Hendel aren’t with him—meaning he has lost his majority—but also because most of the public isn’t with him.

While a number of media outlets and some enthusiastic tweeters would be prepared to see him form a government even with Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah if it meant ousting Netanyahu, the dismay everyone else feels at the sight of three former Israel Defense Forces chiefs courting the Joint Arab List, most of whom support terrorists and reject Israel as a state of the Jewish people, is beyond description.

It seems Gantz knows that joining forces with the Joint List would be unforgivable and would see him kicked out of politics faster than he entered it, but the damage has already been done. Now he’s desperate and will apparently do anything to avoid returning the mandate to Rivlin after he again fails to assemble a government.

This is why he is spearheading the bills against Netanyahu. But they, too, are legally problematic and it’s not clear whether they could be applied retroactively even if they were to pass. So he wants to oust Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein as well, even though the law appears to be on Edelstein’s side, hoping it will help him put off trying to form a government.

All this is unfolding alongside super-secret negotiations that have been underway since Sunday to form a unity government with the Likud. They are kept secret to prevent them being thwarted despite efforts by Gantz and his cohort to blow them up. They have a right to use leverage against Netanyahu, just like the other side can apply leverage, but a decision will soon have to be made.

The Joint List won’t like to hear that the person they recommended to Rivlin with the purpose of ousting Netanyahu is actually working with him, and Gantz will have to decide which path to take.

This article first appeared in Israel Hayom.

The opinions and facts presented in this article are those of the author, and neither JNS nor its partners assume any responsibility for them.
You have read 3 articles this month.
Register to receive full access to JNS.

Just before you scroll on...

Israel is at war.

JNS is combating the stream of misinformation on Israel with real, honest and factual reporting. In order to deliver this in-depth, unbiased coverage of Israel and the Jewish world, we rely on readers like you.

The support you provide allows our journalists to deliver the truth, free from bias and hidden agendas. Can we count on your support?

Every contribution, big or small, helps JNS.org remain a trusted source of news you can rely on.

Become a part of our mission by donating today
Topics
Comments
Thank you. You are a loyal JNS Reader.
You have read more than 10 articles this month.
Please register for full access to continue reading and post comments.
Never miss a thing
Get the best stories faster with JNS breaking news updates