We Will Guarantee Netanyhau Honors Unity Government, Shas Tells Gantz

Leader Arye Dery claims he can guarantee Netanyahu would uphold the agreement to leave the prime minister post lest Shas withdraw its support

Chaim Levinson
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Shas leader Arye Dery in-between Benny Gantz, Netanyahu at the Knesset in Jerusalem, April 11, 2019.
Shas leader Arye Dery in-between Benny Gantz, Netanyahu at the Knesset in Jerusalem, April 11, 2019.Credit: Emil Salman
Chaim Levinson

Shas Chairman Arye Dery pledged to Kahol Lavan leader Benny Gantz that if Netanyahu failed to comply with a rotation agreement that would be part of a unity government deal, his party would leave the government.

As of late, Dery has been making efforts to mediate between Netanyahu and Gantz on a unity government. The debate since election day has been who will be the first in the rotation: Likud or Kahol Lavan.

Within Kahol Lavan, there are internal divisions about what to do on the matter. Gantz seems inclined to accept the president’s outline, provided that he is backed by a change in legislation and guaranteed a rotation, as well as Netanyahu’s exit when an indictment against him is filed. Yair Lapid strongly opposes any such agreement with Netanyahu, claiming that he is unreliable man and will not respect the agreement.

Dery has been working with Gantz to convince him to reach a deal with Netanyahu. All sorts of plans have been proposed in the negotiation rooms, including Netanyahu’s pre-signed resignation letter, a legislative change that requires a charged prime minister to be ousted and others. Initially, it was announced Friday that Likud proposed an outline of one year of Netanyahu with a leave of absence at the beginning of the trial, then two years for Gantz and then one more year for Netanyahu, assuming he was acquitted.

In order to advance the negotiations, Dery told Gantz that he was guaranteeing that Netanyahu would uphold the agreement, and if Netanyahu did not comply, then the Shas party would also leave the Netanyahu government.