Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin and his main challenger, Blue and White leader Benny Gantz, moved toward establishing a unity government on Thursday after agreeing that the latter would serve as the new Knesset speaker.
If a unity government is indeed formed, this would have a dramatic impact on Blue and White, which comprises three parties, including two that are vehemently opposed to sitting in a Netanyahu-led government because of his alleged corruption and upcoming trial.
According to previous reports, the unity government would see Netanyahu serve as prime minister until September 2021, after which he would step down and serve as a minister under Gantz.
However, some in Blue and White have long opposed to breaking their pledge of not sitting under Netanyahu until his trial is over and have tried to stop the negotiations, but it appears that a unity government is a done deal provided the two sides agree on the logistical and legal aspects that would ensure the rotating premiership can be accomplished.
Israel has been in a political paralysis over the past year, with three parliamentary elections ending with a hung parliament. Gantz’s move could be a result of political arithmetic, having realized that he could not form a stable minority government. He may have also figured that a fourth election would not be good for his political fortunes.
Following the news, two of the alliance’s parties said they would no longer caucus with Blue and White, all but ensuring an end to the political constellation. This would mean that Gantz’s party, Israel Resilience, would be the only party from the alliance to join Netanyahu’s government.