Now that it is official, that Israel is once again heading to elections, for a second time in less than a half year, the leaders of the Blue and White party admit that their conduct regarding the chareidi parties and chareidi population has caused them damage, especially the conduct and statements of Yair Lapid. Ya’alon has already stated, “we have to change our conduct towards the chareidim in the next election campaign”.
The leaders of the party, which is headed by Benny Gantz, are aware that the statements by Yair Lapid against the chareidim have resulted in harm to the party, as well as eliminating any chance of forming a coalition since the chareidim will not partner with the party for as long as Lapid is on board.
Speaking with KAN Reshet Bet Radio, Ya’alon added, “I don’t accept the premise that we will not achieve results that will not permit us to form a coalition. We must reach a situation that everyone, including the chareidim, understands that we will form the next coalition government.”
The Blue and White list is headed by Gantz, with Lapid in the second position, followed by Moshe Ya’alon and Gabi Ashkenazi. While this was the lineup in the last election, there are tensions among the leaders regarding the lineup in the upcoming election race.
On Wednesday, Lapid refused to confirm that Gantz will remain in the first slot in the upcoming election. He changed his approach, saying, “If there are new elections, Benny Gantz will head the Blue and White party and we will have a candidate for the premiership”.
According to a report in the Thursday edition of Yisrael Hayom, Gantz was not pleased with Lapid’s statements, and that he did not stand in support of his leadership role. The report adds that party officials have ruled out that Gabi Ashkenazi, who is in the fourth slot, will lead the party’s list.
In response, Ashkenazi told the media, “Nonsense. Blue and White remains united. There was a disagreement and it was solved as we achieved an extraordinary achievement, and we are all united behind Benny’s leadership. Blue and White is more important than everything. Benny Gantz has achieved a tremendous achievement and if we go to elections, we will do the same”.
Readers are reminded that Blue and White ran under a join list, with Yair Lapid’s Yesh Atid party. One option towards opening the door to teaming with the chareidim is to run independent of Lapid’s party, as the chareidim have stated they have nothing against Gantz, but they will not be part of the same coalition with Lapid.
(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)