Unity Government Talks Falter; Netanyahu Tasked with Formation of Next Israeli Government

After the Israeli elections September 17, the Arab list recommend Blue and White party leader Benny Gantz for prime minister. It was an historic endorsement that broke with tradition. Reported by Fox News. Read more…

Although Gantz’s Blue and White party edged out Netanyahu’s Likud in the elections, it was the latter who came out slightly ahead during Rivlin’s consultations with Knesset members on who should lead the next government. Netanyahu leads 55 seats to Gantz’s 54 in consultations, even though Blue and White captured 33 Knesset seats to Likud’s 32. The decisive factor was three members of the Arab Joint List who balked at their coalition’s recommendation for Gantz by refusing to endorse him. Reported by The Guardian. Read more…

Both Netanyahu and Gantz met with Rivlin, who urged the pair to begin talks toward forming a unity government. The electorate is currently deadlocked with neither Likud nor Blue and White being able to cobble together enough support from other parties to form a majority. Reported by Fox News. Read more…

Both parties entered into discussions to form a unity government. There was little hope, however, that the two could agree to form a unity government as both leaders want to be prime minister. Reported by The Guardian. Read more…

Rivlin ultimately gave Netanyahu the task for forming the next government. Many Israelis fear a third election if Netanyahu cannot form a coalition government. Reported by The Guardian. Read more…

Likud suggested Netanyahu could inform Rivlin after only a week that he could not form a coalition government. Blue and White accused Netanyahu of wanting a third election to give himself another chance at securing a majority. Likud said negotiations with Blue and White were a big disappointment, stating the party “made the strategic decision to slam the door shut on a unity government and drag the country into elections.” Reported by The Guardian. Read more…

Avigdor Liberman said that Israelis would not forgive Netanyahu and Gantz if they fail to form a unity government, causing a third round of elections in 2020. “The citizens of Israel will not forgive you if you lead us to another round of elections just because of ego and personal matters,” Liberman wrote in a Facebook post. Reported by The Times of Israel. Read more…

Yisrael Beytenu, Avigdor Liberman’s party, says it will present its own plan to Netanyahu and Gantz for a unity government. “We must reach a rational solution and leave all personal considerations and ego aside,” Liberman told party members. “If by Yom Kippur there is no breakthrough, Yisrael Beytenu will present its own offer to the two factions.” Reported by The Times of Israel. Read more…

Liberman met with Netanyahu on Thursday morning, but their talks made no progress. Although Likud announced that Netanyahu “offered Liberman to join the government as soon a possible, to enable the formation of a national unity government,” no other progress was made. Liberman also reportedly met with Blue and White’s number two, Yair Lapid, and was scheduled to meet with Gantz. Reported by Haaretz. Read more…

More Reported by JTA. Read more…

More Reported by Fox News. Read more…

One reason Netanyahu is working so hard to form a coalition government is upcoming hearings on bribery, fraud and breach of trust indictments against him. If Netanyahu can secure a fifth term as prime minister, he can protect himself from the indictments. Netanyahu’s lawyers began presenting their arguments against the indictments as pre-trial hearings in the case began. Netanyahu has denounced the indictments as a “witch hunt.” Reported by The Guardian. Read more…