Even though they received nearly the same number of votes as Likud, the Blue and White party were forced to concede defeat as it is next-to-impossible for them to form a left-wing coalition with the current make-up of parties set to enter the next Knesset.
At a news conference, party leaders threatened to make life miserable for the new Likud government should the party choose a right-wing coalition.
Benny Gantz, who had declared victory on election night, kicked things off Wednesday by saying his party would “respect the decision of the people and we will respect the decision of the president.”
“We are at a very difficult and challenging moment in time. It is an important moment for the entire state of Israel. We have achieved an unprecedented result, with more than one million people voting for a party that didn’t exist ten weeks ago. We created a real alternative to the previous government.”
Gantz continued: “Netanyahu gathered together extremists from all over, he destroyed his previous partners, and this is the result that we arrived at. The results show us the hope for change that we can expect in the future, for everyone. Nothing will make us leave our course of action. We have a responsibility to those who voted for us, and to those who didn’t vote for us as well. We will serve them from every position that we can muster. In spite of the strange rumors that I have heard, this is the first day of the next ten years in which I will serve Israeli society in every capacity that I can, with all my strength.”
Yair Lapid, the party’s No. 2 leader, said Blue and White would “show the people of Israel what a real alternative looks like.”
“We didn’t win this round. I respect the voters. I respect their decision. But I look around here and I see the ultimate tool to success in the next round of elections. We are not heading to the opposition, we are heading to the Knesset in order to start laying the foundation work for the next round from there”, he said.
Lapid continued: “I want to let the Likud know, the coalition members know, that we are going to make your lives miserable. The days in which the opposition simply tried to drag the government down are over. We will demand an official state investigation into the submarine episode. We will not be lazy when it comes to the indictment letters against Netanyahu. We will turn the Knesset into a battleground and we will show the Israeli public a true alternative to the current leadership. We didn’t come here to close the 2019 election campaign, we came to open the 2020 election campaign.”
(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)