Wednesday 23.10.2019, Benny Gantz, head of the Blue and White party, received the mandate to form a government from president Rivlin.
Gantz now has 28 days to form a government, with no possibility for an extension. If he does not succeed in forming a government, there will be 21 days during which any member of Knesset (including Netanyahu and Gantz) can ask for the mandate if they have the support of 61 Members of Knesset. If at the end of these 21 days there is no government, the 21st Knesset will disperse and Israel will have elections for the third time in less than a year.
Benny Gantz (Blue and White):
“Today I gratefully received the mandate to form a government from the president. Today I reverently received the privilege to form a government from the citizens of Israel. I promised to form a liberal, unity government and that is what I intend to do. The government that I form will serve all of the citizens of Israel and I will work for the well-being of all citizens of Israel. I will work to set up a functioning government. A government that Israel so desperately needs. On the eve of forming the Blue and White party, I said the following: instead of division, we offer unity. Instead of fundamentalism we offer responsible state governance. Instead of incitement, we offer peacemaking. Blue and White was created as a large tent that represents the different parts of Israeli society. Blue and white is the right political home for the job we now face–creating a government. In this home, in the State of Israel, there is a place for all those who are part of Israeli society: the Ultra Orthodox who are part of Israel and with whom we must sit and talk as brothers. The young people who have just finished their military service and are meeting for a drink at the neighborhood pub at the end of a day of work. To the members of the Religious Zionist movement who are always there, under the stretcher, ready for any national mission. The Arab citizens who have a right to personal safety and proper education for their children. Our Druze brothers who have a right to equality and not only in the IDF. The members of the LGBTQ community that deserve to live a happy life here like anyone else. Beginning today, I will speak to the heads of the other parties in order to establish a unity government based on fundamental principles agreed upon by most of the parties in the Knesset. In this setting, I will invite all parties who make up our home, those who will be in the government and those who will not, in the interest of hearing all the concerns of all citizens of Israel before forming the baselines for our policy. I intend to go to the Likud first, the second biggest party, and to the head of the Likud Benjamin Netanyahu, and to make him an offer to be part of this type of unity government. I would like to take this opportunity tonight to address Netanyahu directly: we have known each other many years. I know your many positive attributes and that you are an Israeli patriot. You sent us on many missions and together we led many missions. I wish for you to be found innocent in all of the legal issues you are dealing with. It is clear to both of us that the results of the election and the legal situation require change. Together with us, together with the other good people that are in the Likud, we must act responsibly and have a value driven and respectful discourse. Not for my sake or for yours. But for the sake of all the citizens of Israel wishing for a government“.