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Gantz opts for a coronavirus government

By candidating for the job of Knesset speaker, Blue and White leader Benny Gantz gave the sign that he is willing to join a Netanyahu-led unity government.
Blue and White party leader Benny Gantz seen during election campaign in Ramat Gan on February 25.
After 99 percent of votes counted, right-wing bloc led by Likud's Benjamin Netanyahu obtained 58 seats but 3 are missing to get a clear majority.
Israeli PM Netanyahu says today that Gantz is 'linking up with terrorists' supporters' alluding at possible union with Arab Alliance Joint List.
On Wednesday, March 4, 2020, in Jerusalem, Israel. (Photo by Artur Widak/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

The Blue and White party collapsed like a house of cards March 26, and with it, the most meaningful challenge to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s rule in the past decade. It will just be a matter of days before Israelis are introduced to their new “coronavirus government,” with Blue and White leader Gantz holding either the defense or foreign affairs portfolio. Based on the emerging agreement, he will replace Netanyahu as prime minister in another year and a half.

Gantz made the most difficult decision of his political career, knowing that it would lead to the dismantling of Blue and White. He struggled and anguished over it, and he postponed it to the very last minute in the hope that Yair Lapid, the No. 2 member of Blue and White, would lift his veto of a Netanyahu government. At the same time, however, he also came to realize that there was no way for him to form a minority government. He went with the polls, which showed that the people were fed up with all the political squabbling and most of his voters wanted a unity government, even if it included Netanyahu. The coronavirus had the final word.

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