Gabi Ashkenazi said to put out Blue and White, while Gantz’s party crumbles

Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi is to press the Blue and White party in the situation that is likely to hold elections next week, according to a key source in the party.

As Benny Gantz’s party loses more and more ground in opinion polls, two members of his parliamentary bloc, Yoaz Hendel and Zvi Hauser, have already announced that they are leaving the party and then fired quickly from their government positions.

No. 2 could follow soon, a senior member of Blue and White told Zman Yisrael, the site of the Times of Israel’s Hebrew sister, Tuesday.

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“Ashkenazi won’t want to be No.” 2 or 3 in a crooked party that gets five or six Knesset seats in the polls, ”said the officer on condition of anonymity.

“We’re seeing his behavior right now,” the official explained. “He’s not involved in the whole political crisis, he’s not making helpful suggestions, he’s not saying a word in the media. for Blue and White, and this is at a time of crisis with the party fighting for existence.

“I think he’s on the way out.”

Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi will speak to the media at a press conference in front of Villa Liebermann at Lake Wannsee in Berlin, Germany, 27 August 2020. (Michele Tantussi / Pool Photo via AP)

The development came after the first reading of Knesset’s plenum of a bill that would dissolve the government and call for early elections to be pushed to next week, fishing blue and white, which pushes the legislation.

The move by Knesset Speaker Yariv Levin, a member of Likud, is not aimed at preventing the dissolution of parliament. Even without the bill, the Knesset has already slammed the route later this month due to an imbalance in the state budget, which has been maintained by Likud for some time. long. In addition, it is widely believed that Netanyahu intends to disband the government at least before the 2021 budget has to be presented in March, in order to prevent a situation in which, as specified by their power-sharing agreement, Gantz succeeds him as prime minister.

Lawyers in Knesset Plenary on 9 December 2020. (Dani Shem Tov / Knesset Speaker)

Instead, Levin’s move is seen as aimed at trying to stop a number of clauses that are included in the Blue and White bill, which has a majority in the Knesset and its has already cleared a full-plenum vote and approved by the Knesset House Committee. He needs to cast three more plenum votes.

Blue and White has called for a combined state budget for 2020 and 2021 – also as the coalition deal specifies – in a bid to persuade Netanyahu to respect the central space circulation clause. If Likud continues to oppose these demands, elections will begin on December 23 at the latest and will be held three months later.

Gantz is still considering trying to reach a final compromise with Netanyahu regarding the government’s budget and future.

However, Likud is said to want Netanyahu to be given another “exit point” allowing the government to disband without giving Gantz the lead, and also that a Minister would ‘Justice Avi Nissenkorn fired from office for support of legal action.

Gantz said Wednesday that he would oppose the last request.

At a conference hosted by the Israeli Institute for Democracy, Gantz said he still hoped Netanyahu would “understand that going to elections is not what Israel needs right now.”

Justice Minister Avi Nissenkorn seen during a visit to the Jerusalem District on November 10, 2020. (Yonatan Sindel / Flash90)

He said there was not much time left and said there would be a compromise that could include a solution to the budget, but not remove Nissenkorn from the post of justice minister.

“Avi is doing a good job in the Ministry of Justice,” Gantz said. “We are committed to defending democracy and the justice system so the answer is very clear. “

Zman Yisrael has previously reported that five of Blue and White ‘s current 14 members have threatened to cease if Gantz ends the signing of a contract with Netanyahu and delays on elections: Nissenkorn, Meirav Cohen, Asaf Zamir, Miki Haimovich and Ram Shefa.

“These people can no longer bear what is happening in this government and are no longer willing to embarrass themselves,” the site told a politician who knows them.

Then-Blue and White MKs party members Yoaz Hendel, Zvi Hauser seen in the Knesset in Jerusalem, April 29, 2019. (Noam Revkin Fenton / Flash90)

On Monday, Gantz announced that he was removing Derech Eretz lawyers Zvi Hauser and Yoaz Hendel from their government posts, after the two said they would join Gideon Sa’ar’s new party. after he split from Likud Netanyahu’s party and said he would try to replace the main one.

“Hauser and Hendel have chosen their new political home and their tenure on behalf of blue and white has come to an end,” Gantz said in a statement.

Hendel’s shooting as an effective communications minister was immediate. The removal of Hauser as head of the Foreign and Defense Committee will take a little longer, as he wants to vote in the Knesset and replace him.

Gantz’s office said he would take over for Hendel as communications minister. He later said MK Eitan Ginzburg would be the new chairman of the Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee.

Hendel and Hauser were part of the Blue and White Telem Moshe Ya’alon faction. When the alliance broke up earlier this year, with Gantz heading for the alliance and Ya’alon and Yair Lapid to the front, the two MKs broke away to form Derech Eretz and went on to -into the Gantz bloc in government.

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