(JNS) Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu expressed confidence this week that it was still possible to achieve a “robust” unity government, saying there was no need for the country to go back to elections.
“The worst option of all is a government that is dependent on Arab parties who will want to judge IDF soldiers as war criminals,” said Netanyahu. Furthermore, he said, “there’s no reason to reach a situation where we either assemble this kind of government or go to elections. There is still the option of creating a patriotic and robust unity government.”
Netanyahu, Yisrael Beiteinu head Avigdor Lieberman, Blue and White leader Benny Gantz and Israeli President Reuven Rivlin are expected to meet in the coming days in order to figure out a way to break the current political impasse. A scheduled meeting between Lieberman and Gantz this week was canceled due to the developing security situation in Israel.
“Lieberman approached me and asked to meet in order to develop a proposal that would outline a framework for a unity government,” Gantz said. “We agreed to meet and we’re prepared to consider certain compromises as long as they coincide with our ideology and what is in the best interest for the State of Israel.”
Gantz reiterated his stance that he will do everything in his power to avoid a third election and called on Netanyahu to restart talks between the two parties.
“The people of Israel will never forgive us if we don’t do this,” he said.
Likud demanded that Blue and White walk away from the “crazy idea of forming a minority government that depends on members of the Joint List, who are supporters of terrorism and don’t recognize the State of Israel.”