Israel’s Opposition Leader Swears To Form a Government Without Netanyahu


JERUSALEM (AP) – The Israeli opposition leader, Benny Gantz, swore to form a government that does not include the accused Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu or the Arab parties in Parliament.

In a series of televised interviews before the general elections, Gantz tried to project confidence that the March 2 elections will offer a decisive result that will avoid another process, as has happened twice.

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The Blue and White party of Gantz currently surpasses the Likud of Netanyahu, although none seems to have the free path to the parliamentary majority required to form a coalition government.

Gantz presented two possible trajectories during an interview with the Channel 12 news on Saturday night. He said he will either be associated with a wide range of “Jewish and democratic” parties – including the ultra-nationalist party led by Avigdor Lieberman – or could he join the ruling Likud Party, but only without the presence of Netanyahu, who is under prosecution for corruption.

“Netanyahu ended his historic participation from a political point of view. Likud with Bibi cannot form a government, and without Bibi there is unity, ”he said calling Netanyahu by his nickname.

Gantz, a former military chief, has made an energetic campaign in an attempt to gain a resounding victory as the election approaches. Apparently he strengthened his bond with Lieberman, whose nationalist party Yisrael Beitenu emerged from the field of Netanyahu’s right wing and caused a crisis that led to several elections.

Lieberman has ruled out participating in a government with Netanyahu and has conditioned his participation only if the ultra-Orthodox Jewish parties he considers have exerted disproportionate power are excluded.

“The era of Netanyahu came to an end,” Lieberman said Saturday while expressing a recent opening to participate in a government with the leftist parties he once avoided.

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Aron Heller is on Twitter as: www.twitter.com/aronhellerap

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