Blue and White Party releases charter
The party leading in the polls is trying to appeal to Right wing voters, ruling out any one-sided territorial disengagements and pledges to conduct a general referendum on any major diplomatic initiatives; seeks to limit term of PM to 8 years or a maximum of 3 terms.
The Blue and White Party released its political charter on Wednesday, outlining the party’s positions on social, economic and security issues. The party, which is led by a quartet headed by former chief of staff Benny Gantz, is currently polling at about 35 Knesset seats, the highest of any party.
One clause in the charter states that “there will not be a second disengagement,” explaining that “one sided moves lead the enemy to the conclusion that violent opposition can beat us. Any momentous diplomatic steps will be preceded by a general referendum or authorized by a super majority in the Knesset.”
The term “Two State Solution” does not appear in the charter, nor does “Palestinian state.” It seems that the party is making an effort to persuade Right wing leaning voters to support the party.
In addition to ruling out a one-sided disengagement from the West Bank, the charter states that there will be no withdrawal of Israeli control over four strategic areas: the major settlement blocs, the Jordan Valley, Jerusalem and the Golan Heights.
Another clause states that “the Golan Heights is an inseparable part of the State of Israel and that the matter is not up for negotiations.” It further states that they seek to develop and settle more residents in the region, while continuing to prepare the IDF for a possible conflagration in the north while ensuring that Hezbollah and Iran do not further entrench themselves in Syria.
“Above all, Israel lacks proactive political leadership that will act to take advantage of opportunities and change the reality in the region and within our borders," it states in criticism of Netanyahu. "Hamas, whose capabilities are minuscule in relation to the IDF, is provocative and is embittering the lives of the residents of the south.
"Despite the successful campaign waged by the IDF against the strengthening of Hezbollah, which is the strongest force in Lebanon today, and against Iran's entrenchment in Syria, a threatening reality is forming beyond our northern borders. Israel’s actions do not affect the way Putin, Erdogan and Rouhani are creating a new reality in Syria. "
Regarding the conflict with the Palestinians, the charter states: "We will initiate a regional conference with the Arab countries that seek stability, and deepen the process of separation from the Palestinians while maintaining the uncompromising security interests of the State of Israel and the IDF's freedom of action everywhere.”
Another section reads: "We will heal the wounds created by the current government in relations with world Jewry, especially in the United States."
Regarding civic integrity and corruption, the charter seeks to limit a prime minister’s term to two consecutive four-year terms or no more than three in total, whichever is shorter, among other steps aimed at curbing government corruption and attacks on the media.
On the matter of education, the charter seeks to gradually lengthen the school day, subsidize child day care, improve the status of teachers and boost youth movements.
The party platform has harsh words for the state of the national health services, accusing the current government of failing to properly plan ahead, primarily with regards to medical manpower, insufficient budgets and “creeping privatization,” putting the medical system in a deep crisis.
“The lines are getting longer and the patients are neglected,” it states. “The overcrowding in hospitals harms human dignity, creates an unbearable burden and leads to violence, especially in the periphery, which suffers from a shortage of quality medical personnel.”
The party says that it seeks to “increase investment in health infrastructure and expenditures on public health services.” They mention building more hospitals, increasing the amount of physicians and medical workers, and guaranteeing five years of nursing care insurance for all citizens.
Regarding the traffic and transportation problems plaguing the country, the party is pledging to incentivize companies to allow their workers a more flexible schedule and work from home one day a week in order to achieve a more efficient distribution of vehicular traffic entering the Tel Aviv metropolitan area throughout the day.
They also mention improving public transportation, especially in the periphery of the country.
The Blue and White political charter was written by Chili Tropper (a representative of Gantz), Ofer Shelah of Yesh Atid and Yoaz Hendel of Moshe Ya’alon’s Telem faction.