Saturday, 6 Jun 2020 - 14 of Sivan, 5780

On Monday, Israel’s president Rivlin will assign Benny Gantz with forming a government, all Arab MKs recommended the Blue and White leader

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All 15 Knesset Members of the Joint List alliance of Arab and Arab-majority parties recommended Benny Gantz, marking the first time that an Arab party has endorsed anyone for Prime Minister since Yitzhak Rabin in 1992.

Yisrael Beitenu leader Avigdor Lieberman joined the Joint List and Labor-Gesher-Meretz parties in endorsing Gantz for Prime Minister.

However, the Israeli president said he would invite both Gantz and Netanyahu for talks on Sunday night, in an apparent bid to encourage a unity government between the two largest parties.

On Monday, Israeli president Reuven Rivlin will assign the task of forming the government to the leader of the Kachol Lavan (Blue and White) party, Benny Gantz, after 61 Knesset Members (a majority of the 120-member parliament) have recommended Gantz as opposed to 58 Members of Knesset who recommended the current Prime Minister and head of Likud, Benjamin Netanyahu.

One Member of Knesset chose not to give a recommendation.

Rivlin announced that Gantz would be assigned to form a government after consultation of all parties represented in the parliament.

His announcement came shortly after Yisrael Beitenu leader Avigdor Lieberman joined the Joint List and Labor-Gesher-Meretz parties in endorsing Gantz for Prime Minister. With the support of Lieberman during consultations with Rivlin, Gantz picked up 61 of 120 recommendations, compared to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s 58 endorsements.

Nevertheless, Rivlin said he would invite both Gantz and Netanyahu for talks on Sunday night, in an apparent bid to encourage a unity government between the two largest parties.

Netanyahu’s Likud won 36 Knesset seats in the national election — the third vote within a year — compared to Blue and White’s 33, but the Likud leader’s right-wing bloc again failed to muster a parliamentary majority.

Before beginning the consultations, the president addressed Israeli citizens in light of the situation, saying, “Dealing with emergencies has never been at the expense of Israeli democracy, but has rather strengthened it and made our country, the State of Israel, more resilient. We are committed, more than ever, in light of the urgent need for a government, to hold essential democratic processes, even in a time of crisis.’’

All 15 Knesset Members of the Joint List alliance of Arab and Arab-majority parties recommended Benny Gantz, marking the first time that an Arab party has endorsed anyone for Prime Minister since Yitzhak Rabin in 1992.

The endorsement is contingent on Gantz forming a center-left government, not a unity government with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, according to Joint List leader Ayman Odeh. The Joint List will be “the biggest opponents” of a unity deal, said Odeh.

The move could pave the way for a center-left government, if the left-wing Labor-Meretz alliance and the staunchly secular, right-wing Yisrael Beiteinu party both back Gantz.

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