Gantz Booed in Bnei Brak, Outmaneuvered in Jerusalem


Photo Credit: Yonatan Sindel/Flash90

Blue&White leader Benny Gantz takes the Knesset podium following Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, November 10, 2019.

On Sunday night, Blue&White chairman Benny Gantz, who was a guest at the wedding of the son of MK Ya’akov Asher (UTJ) in Bnei Brak, was booed by dozens of Yeshiva youths as he was leaving for his car. The young men also cried at him, “Go to the Arabs” and “Only Bibi,” Channel 12 News reported.

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A survey conducted for Army Radio and reported Monday morning shows that 59% of potential voters oppose a minority government with backing from the Arab parties and only 34% support it. Out of respondents who identified themselves as supporters of Blue&White, 44% rejected the idea.

Of course, so far the Joint Arab List MKs are not at all inclined to support a Gantz minority government and the entire idea is more an election ruse perpetrated by the Likud than an actual political option – but that didn’t stop the young men from Bnei Brak who were yelling: “Benny go away, go to Ahmad Tibbi, go to Ayman Odeh, go to the Arabs, only Bibi.”

But according to the same Channel 12 report, a few in the crowd called for quiet and restrained the madding crowd, saying, “Quiet,” and “Not here.”

Blue&White strategists appear to be accelerating their attempt to forge a minority government led by Prime Minister Gantz. They have scheduled a marathon of talks with leftist parties Labor-Gesher and with Meretz, a coalition with whom would yield only 44 seats. Even with Avigdor Liberman’s Israel Beiteinu, this government would only be supported by 52 MKs. Should Joint Arab List choose to abstain or walk during the confirmation vote, the new government could be stillborn, done in by the rightwing bloc’s 55 nay votes.

This explains why PM Netanyahu awarded Naftali Bennett the DM’s portfolio – because Bennett would have jumped ship along with his two comrades to become Gantz’s DM – giving Blue&White 55 seats, on a par with a Netanyahu opposition.

Gantz is still planning to meet with Liberman this week. Liberman for his part is sticking with his call for a national unity government “without the Haredim and the Messianists.” This is not going to happen. In fact, so far Netanyahu appears to have outmaneuvered the competition.

If anything does happen, it will be during the three-week period in which the cobbling of a new government will be thrown to the Knesset, where any MK can become the next PM, provided he or she find 60 colleagues to join them. If you’ve never been to a horse trading show before – this should be your chance to see one.


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