Blue & White breaks further apart with fresh departures of key figures

Party leader Gantz dismisses MKs Asaf Zamir and Miki Haimovich after rogue voting leading to dissolution of Knesset while FM Ashkenazi is considering his next steps ahead of the March 2021 vote

Moran Azulay|
Blue & White continued existence was cast into doubt on Sunday with a host of departures of some of its most prominent members.
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  • Pleader and Defense Minister Benny Gantz on Sunday dismissed MKs Asaf Zamir and Miki Haimovich from the party after both lawmakers refused to vote in favor of a motion postponing the deadline for the government to present a state budget and preventing another round of elections, the fourth in Israel in under two years.
    3 View gallery
    מיקי חיימוביץ' אסף זמיר גבי אשכנזי
    מיקי חיימוביץ' אסף זמיר גבי אשכנזי
    Miki Haimovich (L), Asaf Zamir (C) and Gabi Ashkenazi
    (Photo: Avi Mualem, Moti Kimchi)
    Gantz also met with his no. 2, Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi, who is currently deliberating on whether to retire from political life outright or form a new party ahead of the March 2021 elections.
    Haimovich and Zamir's dismissal from Blue & White came after the two, alongside MK Ram Shefa, chose to vote against the compromise between Gantz and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to extend the deadline for a state budget until December 31.
    With 47 votes in favor to 49 against, the bill was eventually scuppered - triggering the automatic dissolution of the Knesset and another round of elections.
    3 View gallery
    בני גנץ ובנימין נתניהו
    בני גנץ ובנימין נתניהו
    Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Benny Gantz
    (Photo: AFP, GPO)
    In response to her dismissal, Haimovich wrote: “I met with Benny Gantz and we have agreed to end our joint political run. I will not run on Blue & White’s ticket for the upcoming Knesset seat. This is a decision that I feel comfortable with."
    “The ideological differences between my path and my conscience and the path Gantz chose to tread deepened until they became unbridgeable. I am proud of the way I voted to prevent Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu from staying on the job."
    MK Zamir also wrote on social media: "Benny Gantz invited me to a meeting in which he informed me that following my vote last week, I will not be included on the Blue & White ticket for the Knesset. I do not regret my vote.”
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    מליאת הכנסת
    מליאת הכנסת
    Lawmakers gathering on Knesset floor after parliament voted to dissolve
    (Photo: Knesset PR)
    “We said goodbye as friends and I thanked him for the trust he has placed in me so far and I begged him to do everything necessary for the center-left to come united to the elections in such a way that will allow him to run for power."
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