Gantz Bid for Israeli Minority Government Takes Major Hit
Blue and White list leader Benny Gantz’s effort to form a government in Israel took a major blow Wednesday when the leader of the Gesher party, Orly Levy-Abekasis, said she would refuse to sit in a minority coalition backed by the primarily Arab Joint List. Gesher is currently part of a political alliance that includes the left-of-center Labor party and the left-wing Meretz party. Gantz would require the support of all the alliance’s lawmakers. In an online statement, Levy-Abekasis said the creation of such a government would “violate basic norms and values.” Analysts believe the development puts Israel on course for a fourth consecutive snap election, as neither Gantz nor Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has a clear path to forming a coalition. The incumbent’s Likud party won the most seats in last Monday’s election, with Netanyahu’s right-wing, ultra-Orthodox bloc garnering 58 seats, three short of a majority. Given that two Blue and White parliamentarians reportedly oppose the formation of a minority government, coupled with the fact that a faction within the Joint List is likely to refrain from recommending Gantz to form it, Blue and White’s effort appears to have been torpedoed.