A scheduled meeting between Likud and Blue and White negotiating teams was cancelled yet again, increasing the likelihood of an unprecedented third round of elections that may reluctantly be forced on Israel. The delegations traded accusations and insults as both sides maneuvered to benefit their own perceived political advantages.
Sources at Blue and White told TV7 that “For the time being, the conditions for another meeting have not ripened,” although efforts are underway to schedule another round of talks with Likud for later in the week. Similar statements were made to TV7 by Likud officials, yet they indicated that ‘unless Blue and White changes their position vis-à-vis a broad unity government that will encompass the entire right-wing-religious bloc, further meetings would be redundant.’
Blue and White Chairman Benny Gantz repeated his call this morning for a unity government to be formed as soon as possible. The former IDF Chief of Staff underscored that “Unity isn’t a bloc in which everyone thinks like a single person and acts in the service of a single person – but rather – unity exists when all of the parties set aside their personal interests and operate together on behalf of the country, on behalf of country’s future, on behalf of all of our future.”
In contrast, Likud Head and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu characterized the current environment as “a pre-election season,” when his microphone malfunctioned during his address to a Christian media summit at the Friends of Zion Museum in Jerusalem earlier this week. After stating, “Zion is the pulsating heart of our nation. It is where the Jewish Kings ruled, where the Jewish prophets preached, and where the People of Israel prayed, and thePpeople of Israel continue to pray. ‘If I forget thee, oh Jerusalem.’ We never forgot, and we came back, quickly,” what the Premier said next was inaudible. He then questioned, “Can you hear me?” turning to Museum founder Mike Evans, saying “You have saboteurs here, Mike. Well, it is pre-elections, you never know…”