Blue & White leader Benny Gantz on Monday urged center-left parties to unite in a bid to oust Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in the upcoming March 2021 elections, saying he was "ready to sacrifice a lot" to initiate such a move.
Gantz's statement comes as Israel prepares for a fourth election round in just under two years after its emergency unity government failed to reach an agreement over the state budget in December - leading to its automatic dissolution.
“I shook the hand of this man whom I pledged to replace, I shook the hand of a serial promise-breaker,” the former military chief said in a televised address to the nation.
“I shook it because the State of Israel is at war and I am foremost its soldier. I was wrong. While a real and lethal pandemic is raging and threatening the lives of all of us, [Netanyahu] continued to divide and incite because it serves his personal interest and so he can escape his day in court."
“We cannot allow him to disperse us into fragments of parties - there is great danger that the opportunity will pass if we remain scattered across so many factions.”
Following his speech, opposition leader Yair Lapid’s Yesh Atid party released a laconic statement, saying “we will make every effort toward mergers that will lead to a sane and liberal government that will change the country.”
Yisrael Beytenu head Avigdor Liberman, however, dismissed Gantz’s offer, saying that “we already had an opportunity to replace [Netanyahu] but you chose to become a reserve prime minister. The only thing you can do now for the country is to announce you are not running for Knesset.”
Republished with permission from i24NEWS