Photo Credit: Miriam Alster / Flash 90
Benny Gantz and Benjamin Netanyahu on an election poster. Feb. 18, 2020.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is said to be considering making an offer of a first turn in a rotation for prime minister to Blue & White party chairman Benny Gantz, according to a report by Israel’s Hebrew-language Channel N12 news.

The two were allegedly discussing the possibility last Tuesday, Channel N12 reported. Under the alleged terms of the deal, Netanyahu would remain in the official Prime Minister’s Residence and Gantz would remain Defense Minister throughout the four year period.

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Netanyahu also reportedly considered making the same offer to Yamina party chairman Naftali Bennett, and even to “New Hope” party chairman Gideon Sa’ar, according to the report.

If Gantz accepts, Netanyahu has suggested that Gantz take the first year, return the position to Netanyahu for the second and third year, and then Gantz will take the fourth and final year in the prime minister’s seat.

There are only nine more days left to the mandate for Netanyahu to complete the task of forming a new government coalition before the task is returned to President Reuven Rivlin for further disposition.

If Gantz accepts, it will be in contradiction to his own campaign promise that he would not “join Netanyahu.” The move was save the chance for a right-wing government and it would also give Gantz the opportunity to serve as prime minister – first – as he would otherwise have done this November, had the incumbent government survived.

If Netanyahu is unable to make a deal with Gantz – or with Bennett – the most likely next scenario will see the formation of a leftist government masquerading as a “unity government” under Yesh Atid party chairman Yair Lapid with Bennett taking the first turn in a prime ministerial rotation.

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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for Babble.com, Chabad.org and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.
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