Blue and White Party Chairman Benny Gantz delivered a speech Wednesday evening, together with Yair Lapid, following the election results which indicate that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will continue to a fifth term.
While admitting that he will not be the one forming a governing coalition, Gantz expressed satisfaction with his party's impressive success at achieving an equal amount of Knesset seats as the Likud, even if he unable to form coalition. "We have established a genuine leadership alternative," he said.
Gantz said that he recognized the strength of the right-wing bloc and as a democrat he accepts the results but that he will continue to focus on his goals. He then thanked his supporters and reiterated his commitment to them as well as to citizens who did not vote for him.
"I did not enter politics for the prestige, I came for a purpose, for Israeli society, from a place of great love to the state," Gantz said. "This is only the first day of the next decade in which I intend to serve the Israeli public in every way that I can."
Yair Lapid said that he entered politics to effect change and that "we have not won this round, I respect the will of the voters. But I see the ultimate victory device in the next round. I see more than a million voters and a determined group.
"One cannot understate our achievement in this election: In a matter of weeks we established a party fit to rule, and part of the DNA of a ruling party is never to give up. I am telling the Likud and the coalition: 'We are going to make life miserable for you. The days when the opposition desperately sought to enter the government are over," Lapid said.
Ganz and Lapid will meet with the 35 members of their faction who are expected to enter the 21st Knesset; the meeting will be closed to the media.
Shortly after the initial exit polls were announced, Gantz gave a victory speech in which he promised to be the prime minister of all citizens, but the final results, along with the refusal of the Haredi parties to discuss coalition forming with him made it clear that only Netanyahu has the ability to form a governing coalition.
While both the Likud and Blue and White received 35 Knesset seats, the latter's triumph was mostly at the expense of the conventional leftist parties, Meretz and Labor , which has shrunk to an all-time low of six seats.