Despite Meetings, Israeli Political System Remains Stuck in Deadlock

Photo by Esty Dziubov/TPS on 14 November, 2019

By Arye Green/TPS • 14 November, 2019

Another meeting between Blue and White leader Member of Knesset (MK) Benny Gantz and Yisrael Beiteinu leader MK Avigdor Liberman to discuss the prospects of establishing a unity government ended with no breakthrough on Thursday, as the threat of a third consecutive round of elections looms larger.

Gantz and Liberman met six days before Gantz’s mandate for forming a coalition returns to President Reuven Rivlin.

The two leaders attempted to bring about a significant development that would solve the current political gridlock and have seemingly failed to do so.

After the meeting, they told reporters that the meeting was positive, and promised to do everything in their power to prevent a third round of elections.

Liberman said that what he was missing is a commitment from all Blue and White leaders that they support the president’s plan for forming a unity government.

“Benny Gantz and I finished an hour-long meeting; we exchanged our thoughts with one another. What I am missing at the moment is the endorsement of the president’s plan by all Blue and White leaders,” he said.

Liberman hinted that Gantz himself accepts the plan, but some of the other Blue and White leaders do not.

The “president’s plan” that Liberman referred to stipulates that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu would take leave of absence while dealing with his legal affairs, and Gantz would take over as prime minister. Under the plan, they would both be cabinet members while the other serves as prime minister, and Netanyahu does not have to quit if he is indicted.

Gantz blamed Netanyahu for the political stalemate, saying his insisting on keeping his right-wing political bloc of 55 members is preventing any breakthrough.

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