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‘Netanyahu holds all the cards’

Likud and Blue and White continue to negotiate over the establishment of a unity government, but in the end one side seems to be stronger that the other.

Dr. Maoz Rosenthal, lecturer and researcher at the Lauder School of Government, Diplomacy and Strategy at the Interdisciplinary Center told Arutz Sheva that the fate of the unity government is almost exclusively in Binyamin Netanyahu’s hands.

“It may be that the teams are closing right now and we may be on our way to the elections. In my opinion, Netanyahu has every interest in going to elections. Politically, he has every reason to do so. He is on the pitch and no one is approaching him. The biggest opponent who comes close to him has fallen apart. On the other hand, If Gantz accepts all the conditions that have come out to the media, including creating a legal framework for Netanyahu to continue his role even against the conduct of the High Court, it might happen.”

He said Blue and White leader MK Benny Gantz has made surprising moves, but he has no real power over Netanyahu.

“Gantz has shown in his weeks that his political thinking is unconventional. Routine thinking in politics is aimed at maximizing your power at a given moment. To enter into negotiations with Netanyahu is something that many good people have tried this way before him and few have survived politically.”

“As a person who chooses unconventional options, he may have a red line that he won’t be willing to compromise on. The price is an option to go back to the voter and I think he won’t even get a figure close to the 19 mandates that the polls have given him. It may well be that the Likud thinks that precisely because of his political decisions, he will not want to make a fourth election and would prefer to swallow his pride, go to a coalition with Netanyahu and hope it will be good later. Gantz’s moves are not something that people usually do in politics and certainly not in Israel. It’s hard for me to appreciate what drives Gantz. This is not what usually drives politicians and so it is difficult to know where he will eventually go,” Rosenthal added.

In his opinion, although Netanyahu can be very successful in the elections, he may be better off setting up a unity government.

“As soon as Gantz agreed to walk on this path and try to close a deal with Netanyahu – especially after the dissolution of Blue and White – Netanyahu is in excellent shape. Thanks to his popularity during the coronavirus crisis, he has no real competitor. But even if he goes for a fourth election there is nothing real that can stand in front of him and all the cards are in his pocket.”

Source: Arutz Sheva