Benny Gantz (right), leader of the centrist Blue and White list, and Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, head of the right-wing Likud party. (Emmanuel Dunand, Menahem Kahana/AFP via Getty Images)

Netanyahu Makes Plea for Prime Minister Rotation with Gantz

As Israelis show less and less patience with the seemingly endless election process which now threatens to go to a fourth round, incumbent Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has called upon his rival Benny Gantz to enter a power-sharing unity government in which each will serve in the top spot for 1 ½ years, Netanyahu first. The call was made in a nationally-broadcast speech and followed reports that Gantz, who has no electoral experience, would finally consider such a deal. Nevertheless, as if on cue, Gantz partner Yair Lapid accused Netanyahu of being “insincere” even before Gantz could reply. The latest overture comes against the backdrop of Gantz’s Blue and White coalition trying to pass a law that would prohibit Netanyahu from being prime minister because he is under indictment and facing trial on corruption allegations. [Note to Americans: no ex post facto issue in Israel]. But while Gantz tries to manufacture new laws to disqualify Netanyahu, the incumbent is maneuvering deftly through existing statutes, having the parliament speaker shut down the legislative body to delay consideration of the anti-Netanyahu measures and the justice minister close the courts ostensibly due to the pandemic resulting in a rescheduling of the trial from March 17 to the earliest, May.

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