Thursday 17.10.2018, less than a week before PM Netanyahu’s time limit to form a coalition runs out, the PM called head of Blue and White, Benny Gantz, and published his suggested terms for a unity government.
PM Netanyahu put out a statement to the press saying:
“I presented Gantz with a compromise for a unity government. This government would be based on the widest possible national agreement to allow us to face growing, urgent economic and security challenges. it is clear that all sides must make compromises in order to come to an agreement and form this government“.
The main points of the compromise that Netanyahu presented:
1. The status quo on issues of religion and state will be preserved for the first year and there will be no option to propose new legislation on these issues.
2. With the formation of the government, a committee will be formed that will include members of all parties and will come to agreements on issues of religion and state.
3. Immediately after the government is formed, the Atias agreement (a correction to the draft law) will be placed to a vote and parties can vote freely.
Head of Blue and White Benny Gantz responded to Netanyahu’s offer and tweeted:
“Today I received an offer that I had no choice but to decline. I will wait until I receive the mandate to form the government from the President and will begin serious negotiations to form a liberal unity government that will lead us to change and bring hope back to the citizens of Israel”.
A representative for the Ultra Orthodox party United Torah Judaism said:
“As we announced after the elections, UTJ is part of the right-wing block. As it is known, we agreed to allow PM Netanyahu to negotiate on our behalf for the possible formation of a unity government with other parties. When we are given a concrete option for a coalition, we will discuss it and decide”.
Head of Yisrael Beiteinu Avigdor Lieberman wrote on his Facebook page:
“We have approached the Likud time and time again with the intent to negotiate and discuss meaningful issues such as drafting Yeshiva students, the Supermarket Law, public transportation on the Sabbath, minimum wage pensions, welfare for Handicapped, the continued policy of surrender in Gaza, etc. It is incredible the extent to which our approach falls on deaf ears and all that interests them is who is first and who is second and how many and which governmental portfolios each party will get. I remind you all that time that goes by does not come back and as long as negotiations with us are not on fundamental issues and we have not reached agreement on matters of principle, we will not take any proposal the Likud makes into consideration”.