The leader of Israel’s Blue and White party, Benny Gantz, told a group of advisors that he would not rule out a unity government with Benjamin Netanyahu after the April elections.
According to a recording of a private meeting with his advisors broadcast on Monday evening by Channel 13 News, Gantz said: “I chose the words ‘given the circumstances’ in order not to completely close the door and lock it. The door is closed, but not locked [to joining in a coalition with Likud]. As we’ve seen, life is dynamic, the situation can change, [US President] Trump can present his plan, things will happen, I will win, Trump will present plans — what then?”
Responding to the reports this morning, Gantz said: “The remarks in the recording were made before the full details of the severe charges against Netanyahu were revealed, and definitely before it turned out he received NIS 16 million in a round-trip trade on the submarines and lied to the public on serious security matters. I am saying, not in an anonymous recording but openly and in my voice: I won’t sit with Netanyahu in the government”.
In the recording Gantz also criticised Netanyahu for failing to capitalise on years of sustained economic growth in the country. He said: “This good situation, in which he’s relying on a good macro-economic situation, has reached its end because Bibi Netanyahu didn’t follow through from a macroeconomic perspective on the advantages he himself created in ten years of rule.”
He added: “He didn’t take the money he succeeded in creating with a wise macroeconomic policy and invest it in engines of growth like education and infrastructure, developing the periphery, in the right sort of education done right, he didn’t solve the problem of the health budget the way he should have. Bibi is leaving the place in a shambles.”
Yesterday the Blue and White Party called for a state inquiry into Netanyahu’s alleged role and profiteering in the so-called submarine affair, called “Case 3000”. Several close associates of the Prime Minister are suspected to have received illicit bribes as part of the multi-billion-shekel state purchase of naval vessels from Germany.