(JNS) Israel’s National Unity Party leader Benny Gantz dismissed as “spin” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s call for compromise talks regarding the government’s judicial reform plan.
The former defense minister and leading opposition figure made the statement minutes after Netanyahu published a video message urging Gantz to “put aside all the prerequisites, all the obstacles, enter the room and talk.”
Saying that the Israeli government had been “captured by extremists,” Gantz called for Netanyahu to dissolve the Knesset and head to a new round of elections “that will allow the fusion of Israeli society.”
Gantz also touched upon reports that Israeli President Isaac Herzog has been holding indirect talks in recent weeks between the coalition and opposition on a judicial reform compromise, and that a framework agreement had been reached. (Both the coalition and opposition leadership have rejected the claim.)
“I have trouble seeing the coalition agreeing … but we must try [to reach an agreement]. The compromise that was presented to me, which was also published in the media, isn’t my dream compromise. But we were ready to talk about it in order to stop the judicial coup and the damage to the State of Israel,” Gantz said.
Netanyahu invited Gantz and his team to sit down on Wednesday morning and “do what most of the people of Israel expect: […] sit down and reach agreements.”
The video message was published shortly after Netanyahu met with Justice Minister Yariv Levin about Herzog’s most recent judicial compromise effort.
In an interview with Kol BaRama radio earlier on Tuesday, Levin said, “There is no change in the prime minister regarding the reform, despite all the publications,” referring to a Channel 12 report that Netanyahu had largely agreed to the framework of an agreement.