updates on the non-election of an Israeli PM

Blue and White chair Benny Gantz (C) meeting with leaders of the Joint List alliance, Ayman Odeh (L) and Ahmed Tibi

‘Arab MKs meet with Gantz, call for ‘real diplomatic process’ with Palestinians;

Blue and White chair’s sit-down with Joint List leadership opens the door to possibility Arab-majority parties will back or join the government’, 31 October 2019, timesofisrael.com
“Netanyahu was initially tasked by [President Reuven] Rivlin with trying to form a government based on the strength of his pact with right-wing and ultra-Orthodox parties to negotiate as a bloc of 55 MKs of the Knesset’s 120 lawmakers after September’s inconclusive elections (Likud: 32; Shas: 9; United Torah Judaism: 7 and Yamina: 7).

Gantz heads a potential bloc of 54 MKs from the center, left and Arab parties (Blue and White: 33; Labor-Gesher: 6; Democratic Camp: 5; and 10 out of 13 MKs from the [Arab] Joint List).

“There was a “positive atmosphere” in the meeting between Gantz and Joint List chairman Ayman Odeh and senior MK Ahmad Tibi, a joint statement from Blue and White and the Joint List said.

“Issues that matter to the Arab community were discussed with an emphasis on civilian issues,” the statement continued, adding that “Gantz made clear that treatment of such was not dependent” on the eventual makeup of the government.

[Whatever the bolded above means…]

““Pressing issues for the Arab community were raised during the meeting including the issues of crime and violence, building and planning and general economic and political matters,” the spokesman said.

“Tibi and Odeh affirmed the Joint List’s support for a real diplomatic process that leads to the end of the occupation and the establishment of a Palestinian statement in the framework of a two-state solution,” the spokesman added.

Ahead of the meeting, Odeh defended his decision to meet with Gantz, insisting that he was willing to do what was needed in order to oust Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

“We assured our voters that we would do whatever it takes to replace Netanyahu and the extreme right,” Odeh said in a statement Wednesday. “Every option is on the table as long as there is an alternative of peace and equality.”

Most of Odeh’s alliance has (sic) previously ruled out his idea of possibly joining a Gantz coalition, and its hardline Balad faction rescinded its backing for Gantz as prime minister in talks with President Reuven Rivlin after the elections last month.

The last time an Arab-majority party backed the government was in 1992 when Hadash supported, but did not join, Yitzhak Rabin’s Labor-led coalition.”

Yitzhak Rabin according to Wikipedia:  

1992, Rabin was re-elected as prime minister on a platform embracing the Israeli–Palestinian peace process. He signed several historic agreements with the Palestinian leadership as part of the Oslo Accords. In 1994, Rabin won the Nobel Peace Prize together with long-time political rival Shimon Peres and Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat. Rabin also signed a peace treaty with Jordan in 1994. In November 1995, he was assassinated by an extremist named Yigal Amir, who opposed the terms of the Oslo Accords. Amir was arrested and convicted of Rabin’s murder; he was sentenced to life imprisonment. Rabin was the first native-born prime minister of Israel, the only prime minister to be assassinated and the second to die in office after Levi Eshkol. Rabin has become a symbol of the Israeli–Palestinian peace process.

“Gantz has not said whether he supports the establishment of a minority government with the support of the Joint List.”

As I understand it, a minority government would have access to intelligence files, no small benefit.

“Netanyahu, however, has warned against the Blue and White leader attempting to create one, contending that there should be no government that relies on “anti-Zionist Arab parties that oppose the very existence of Israel as a Jewish and democratic state.”

Odeh took to Twitter, saying that despite efforts to discredit his party, “we will remain true to the values of peace and equality and, as always, we welcome the Likud’s hysteria.”

Israeli president Reuven Rivlin presents Blue and White party leader Benny Gantz with the mandate to form a new Israeli government, after PM Netanyahu’s failure to form one, at the President’s Residence in Jerusalem on October 23, 2019.

Netanyahu, who had the first turn to try to put together a coalition, admitted last week that, after negotiating for nearly a month, he had failed.

Rivlin had earlier said that if neither coalition can meet a winning 61 MKs vote threshold, he’ll create a scenario of alternating PMs one year at a time for each Bibi and Benny. Doesn’t that give you the shivers?  Picture the worst of both worlds with no possibility of the Arabs being involved, much less forming a minority government.”

 ‘Half of Likud voters would prefer Benny Gantz as PM over third elections – survey;  The survey also found out that the Israeli public trusts US President Donald Trump way less than it used to’,  Rossella Tercatin, jpost.com, November 4, 2019

“The survey indicated that the majority of the Israeli public (62%) would approve their party joining a coalition led by Gantz. This view is shared by the vast majority of the voters who support the Center-Left camp, including Joint List voters, but also by Yisrael Beytenu voters. However, this view was held by only slightly less than half of Likud and Yamina voters, and slightly less than a third of the Shas and UTJ voters.

When the respondents were asked which solution to the current political crisis they would prefer, 53% said a national-unity government, 17.5% said elections and 13% said a minority government.

Overall, less than half of Israelis are optimistic about the future of the country’s democracy (43%). The percentage of pessimists was especially high among those who identify as left-wing (70%). In terms of the future of the nation’s security, however, more than half of the respondents said that they were optimistic (54.5%).

The survey also found out that the Israeli public trusts US President Donald Trump far less than it used to.
When asked whether they thought the country’s security was a central consideration in Trump’s foreign policy, only 36% responded affirmatively, dropping from 54% in 2017.”

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