Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has proposed a way out of the deadlock, offering the Blue and White Party a place in a unity government. Benny Gantz, the leader of the Blue and White Party has rejected it.
Today on the show we discussed the fallout from the Israeli Knesset snap elections with our team from the ACLJ office in Jerusalem.
It broke very early this morning – apparently sooner than expected by most Israeli pundits – that Prime Minister Netanyahu endorsed the idea of a unity government. The caveat was that Netanyahu would remain Prime Minister. Netanyahu appealed directly to his opponent in a video statement:
“During the election campaign, I called for the establishment of a right wing government. Unfortunately, the results show that this is not possible. The nation could not decide between the two blocks. Therefore, there is no option but to from a broad-based unity government; as broad as possible, comprising all those who hold Israel dear.
Now I call on you, Benny Gantz. Benny: we have to set up a broad unity government, today even. The people expects us, both of us, to act responsibly by working together. So I call on you, Benny, today, any hour, any time, to set in motion this move, which is the requirement of the hour. We cannot, and there is no reason, to go to a third round of elections. I’m opposed. The requirement of the hour; a broad, unity government. Today.”
Gantz however has made it very clear at this time that he will not participate in a government led by Netanyahu. Gantz stated he fully intends to lead:
“Blue and White is the largest party," Gantz said. "We won 33 seats and Netanyahu did not succeed in winning the 61 seats for his bloc that he sought. I will build a broad and liberal government that will deliver the will of the people. We will not surrender to any dictate. The negotiations will be directed by me responsibly and with good judgment."
The Likud Party and its right wing allied parties currently have a bloc of 55 or 56 seats in the Knesset. In order to form a government they need 61 seats. Former Defense Minister Lieberman is pushing for a liberal national unity government, devoid of religious parties which appears extremely unlikely.
We were joined live by former senior strategist for Likud Jonny Daniels. His assessment of the situation:
“It was clear the Blue and White Party would reject that. There is no chance that the Blue and White Party would sit with Likud.
What this election was, was a referendum on the personality of Prime Minister Netanyahu. So for any Party to sit in government with Likud, it would be accepting him which is something that their voters don’t want to do. That’s the reason we won’t see a unity govt. The only way a unity government could be formed is if Netanyahu was ousted. In my humble opinion what we’ll see is a third election, presumably in six months’ time.”
We at the ACLJ are paying close attention to the situation and will keep you updated.
We also were joined by my dad, Jay Sekulow, who gave us a special breaking news update in his role as President Trump’s Senior Outside Counsel. President Trump has sued Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance who has subpoenaed his tax returns. This story was the top story on The Drudge Report. As my dad explained:
“Could you imagine the situation where every local DA in the country who is angry with the President had the right to open up an investigation on him – on any President? And the founders specifically would not allow that. So what we’ve (The President’s private legal team) done in court today is move for a temporary restraining order to stop temporarily the enforcement of the subpoena.
We did this to protect not only our client’s rights but also the Presidency. It’s just a race for the tax returns, that’s what this is.”
You can listen to the entire episode here.
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