(April 20, 2020 / JNS) Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Blue and White leader Benny Gantz have signed a new coalition agreement to form a “national emergency government,” ending a political deadlock that lasted more than a year.
“I promised the State of Israel a national emergency government that will work to save lives and livelihoods of Israeli citizens,” said Netanyahu, who has served as a caretaker prime minister since December 2018.
The deal between the two leaders will see a rotation agreement whereby Netanyahu remains prime minister for 18 months before being replaced by Gantz. In the meantime, Gantz will serve as vice prime minister and defense minister. The deal will also see an expansion of the Cabinet to include 32 ministers, growing eventually to 36 ministers, the largest in Israel’s history.
“We prevented a fourth election,” Gantz said in a tweet. “We will protect our democracy and fight against the coronavirus.”
Israel held its national elections on March 2, with neither Netanyahu’s Likud Party or Gantz’s Blue and White Party able to secure a majority coalition. National elections were also held in September and April 2019, resulting in a similar impasse.
The American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) congratulated Netanyahu and Gantz for “their significant achievement in forging a broad-based coalition government.”
“Israel has once again demonstrated the resiliency and vibrancy of the only genuine democracy in the region,” it said.
The announcement of a national emergency government comes amid the coronavirus pandemic that has infected some 13,600 Israelis and lead to the deaths of 173 as of Monday.
Support Jewish Journalism
with 2020 Vision
One of the most intriguing stories of the sudden Coronavirus crisis is the role of the internet. With individuals forced into home quarantine, most are turning further online for information, education and social interaction.
JNS's influence and readership are growing exponentially, and our positioning sets us apart. Most Jewish media are advocating increasingly biased progressive political and social agendas. JNS is providing more and more readers with a welcome alternative and an ideological home.
During this crisis, JNS continues working overtime. We are being relied upon to tell the story of this crisis as it affects Israel and the global Jewish community, and explain the extraordinary political developments taking place in parallel.
Our ability to thrive in 2020 and beyond depends on the generosity of committed readers and supporters. Monthly donations in particular go a long way in helping us sustain our operations. We greatly appreciate any contributions you can make during these challenging times. We thank you for your ongoing support and wish you blessings for good health and peace of mind.