Netanyahu Offers Gantz First Spot in Rotation Deal for Premiership

With nine days before Netanyahu's mandate to form a government expires, political sources believe the offer is meant to give both parties political leverage in coalition talks

Jonathan Lis
Jonathan Lis
Send in e-mailSend in e-mail
Netanyahu and Gantz speaking in the Knesset, last week.
Netanyahu and Gantz speaking at the Knesset, last week.Credit: Noam Moskovitz / Knesset spokesperson
Jonathan Lis
Jonathan Lis

With nine days until his mandate to form a government expires, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu offered Defense Minister Benny Gantz the first slot in a rotation deal for the premiership, sources in Gantz's inner circle said Sunday.

According to sources familiar with the conversation, Gantz did not reject the deal outright, but told Netanyahu that he doesn't "see how this comes together." According to the sources, the deal Netanyahu proposed also allows Gantz to maintain the defense portfolio.

Throughout the election campaign leading up to Israel's March election, Gantz vowed not to cooperate with Netanyahu again, following the implosion of the unity government formed after the previous election and the deteriorating relationship between the two.

Political sources believe that Gantz seeks to gain leverage in coalition talks by making this conversation public. In talks with the anti-Netanyahu bloc, which hopes to form a government after Netanyahu's mandate expires, Gantz is hoping to hold on to the defense portfolio. Sources say Gideon Sa'ar is also interested in the defense minister post and Netanyahu's offer could give Gantz the necessary edge in negotiations.

The publication of the conversation also helps Netanyahu minimize the perceived importance of Yamina's Naftali Bennett in ongoing coalition talks to form a right-wing government, sources said.

Sources in Netanyahu's inner circle say that he is weighing forming a government with another candidate serving first as prime minister under a rotation deal. The pro-Netanyahu bloc hopes that such a deal would allow Sa'ar, who objects to serving under Netanyahu, to join a right-wing government. The proposed rotation deal would allow Netanyahu to return to the premiership in a year or two.

Alongside offering such a deal to Gantz, sources say that Netanyahu plans to offer the position to senior Likud members, including Knesset Speaker Yariv Levin or Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz.

Click the alert icon to follow topics:

Comments

SUBSCRIBERS JOIN THE CONVERSATION FASTER

Automatic approval of subscriber comments.

Subscribe today and save 40%

SUBSCRIBE
Already signed up? LOG IN

ICYMI

Trump and Netanyahu at the White House in Washington, in 2020.

Three Years Later, Israelis Find Out What Trump Really Thought of Netanyahu

German soldier.

The Rival Jewish Spies Who Almost Changed the Course of WWII

Rio. Not all Jewish men wear black hats.

What Does a Jew Look Like? The Brits Don't Seem to Know

Galon. “I’m coming to accomplish a specific mission: to increase Meretz’s strength and ensure that the party will not tread water around the electoral threshold. If Meretz will be large enough, it will be the basis for a Jewish-Arab partnership.” Daniel Tchetchik

'I Have No Illusions About Ending the Occupation, but the Government Needs the Left'

Soldiers using warfare devices made by the Israeli defense electronics company Elbit Systems.

Russia-Ukraine War Catapults Israeli Arms Industry to Global Stage

Flame and smoke rise during an Israeli air strike, amid Israel-Gaza fighting, in Gaza City August 6, 2022.

Israel Should End Gaza Operation Now, if It Can