Gantz’s Coalition Plan: Snap Deal With a Moderate, a Far-rightist and the ultra-Orthodox

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Benny Gantz dances with members of the Ultra-Orthodox community in Jerusalem, March 28, 2019.
Benny Gantz dances with members of the Ultra-Orthodox community in Jerusalem, March 28, 2019.Credit: Gil Cohen-Magen

Kahol Lavan chief Benny Gantz plans to propose a coalition government with Moshe Kahlon’s center-right Kulanu party, Moshe Feiglin’s far-right Zehut party and the ultra-Orthodox parties if he beats Likud by at least four seats in Tuesday’s election, sources in Kahol Lavan said.

He says another government headed by Benjamin Netanyahu would only last eight months until the prime minister is indicted in the corruption cases against him, the sources said. The attorney general has already moved to indict Netanyahu, pending a hearing.

According to the sources, Gantz does not expect the leaders of his potential allies to recommend him to President Reuven Rivlin as the one who should form a government, but he hopes that at least they will not recommend Netanyahu.

He believes that if his party does substantially better than Likud, and Netanyahu does not have the support of 61 of the 120 Knesset members, Rivlin will ask him to form a government, even if more parties recommend Netanyahu.

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In the past, Rivlin and Netanyahu supported legislation that would see the head of the first-place finisher being asked to form a government, but such a law was never passed.

Last week, the president talked about this with schoolchildren in Beit Shemesh. “What does a president do when no side has a majority?” he asked. “Which considerations should guide him? Maybe the largest faction? Does the person with the most recommendations have a better chance at convincing the rest to join his coalition?”

According to sources, Gantz has also said in closed conversations that once he gets the nod from the president to form a coalition, he will not have a problem doing so. He mocked claims that he was inexperienced, saying his rivals would be surprised by his plans.

In a television interview two weeks ago, he said that Kahol Lavan would cooperate with any “Israeli or Jewish party” that is not “against Israel.” “Deep inside, the ultra-Orthodox know they can sit with Benny Gantz,” he said.