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‘Burn it all down’ — Netanyahu attacks rival’s possible coalition with Palestinians

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Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu attacked publicly the possibility of a minority government of his rival Blue-White that would be dependent on the Joint List of Palestinians parties, crying (Hebrew) that the Blue White leadership “has lost its mind, stop this madness.”

Netanyahu said this in a video on his Facebook page. There is to be an emergency rally against the inclusion of Palestinian parties tonight in Israel.

Prior to the video, the PM held a conversation with several of his eunuc… err, ministers, bemoaning the possibility of such a minority government. According to several reports, pounced upon by the opposition, Netanyahu called upon his followers to “burn it all down” should a minority government with the Joint List actually be created. Netanyahu, who is widely considered to be a notorious liar whose word means nothing, denied making such a call.

The “burn it all down” call came a day after one of Netanyahu’s hardline followers, Ran Carmi Buzaglo, hinted at a civil war should Netanyahu be indicted. It is unclear what army Buzaglo intends to use in this civil war; as he made threats against the State’s Attorney over the indictment in an interview. However, he is expected to be interrogated soon.

An indictment is expected, and according to unconfirmed reports, Netanyahu was informed yesterday (Friday) that the indictment would come on Tuesday. While there is no confirmation, Likud has attempted to register to lead a demonstration in front of the house of the Government’s Counsel on Monday, an attempt rebuffed by the police. The police has strictly limited the right of demonstration in front of the GC’s house for the past two years, often using brutal force to enforce the limitations.

But while everyone expects an indictment against Netanyahu, the idea of a Blue White/Joint List minority government is a dark horse. It is theoretically possible. Both Netanyahu and Benny Gantz of Blue White command only minorities of the Knesset, 55 and 44 seats out of 120 respectively. Gantz could theoretically govern with a minority coalition since a vote of no-confidence from the Knesset requires a majority of 61 votes and an alternate candidate presented by the opposition. But his government would first have to pass the threshhold of a majority confidence vote, and it is not at all certain that a Blue White-Joint List coalition could muster the votes. It must have the support of Avigdor Liberman (eight seats) and most members of the Joint List (as many as 13 seats). Rumors have it that Balad, a member of the Joint List with three seats, would not support a government that contains Liberman’s Yisrael Beteinu party, given Liberman’s many racist statements. All we know is that every vote would count if Gantz tried to pull off a minority government.

But, while the option seemed like a mirage just a week ago, Blue-White admitted following Netanyahu’s meltdown that they are considering the option. Blue-White’s leader, Benny Gantz, met with President Rivlin today for a 90-minute conversation, the details of which are unknown.

Gantz has four days remaining to either present the Knesset with a government (which it may then accept or reject), or return the mandate to form a government to the President. Should the latter happen, the Knesset will have 21 days to somehow appoint one of its members a Prime Minister, or dissolve and call a new general election – the third within a year.

It is not at all clear Blue White will indeed attempt a coalition with the Joint List. As some Israeli centrists have declared that they cannot accept such a coalition. And Netanyahu is doing the best he can to stir hatred and racism so as to prevent it. But this year was very strange politically. Nobody predicted that the April elections will lead to new elections.

And there is a strong feeling of Netanyahu-fatigue. We’ll know for sure within a few days. Likud either takes the possibility of such a government seriously or pretends to: It would hold an emergency rally against a minority government supported by the Arab parties on Sunday at 18:00.

But a Netanyahu indictment on Tuesday, and a Jewish-Palestinian coalition on Wednesday would be something to behold.


Yossi Gurvitz

Yossi Gurvitz is a journalist and a blogger, and has covered the occupation extensively.

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12 Responses

  1. annie on November 17, 2019, 7:28 pm

    “a Netanyahu indictment on Tuesday, and a Jewish-Palestinian coalition on Wednesday would be something to behold.”

    wow, it really would! almost impossible to imagine but exciting none the less.

    so, they can still indict netanyahu even while he’s prime minister? he’s still prime minister until there’s another correct? interesting

    • annie on November 17, 2019, 7:40 pm

      this just may have my question

      Gantz and Lieberman believe Netanyahu has already made the decision to go for a third election, which would give him four or five months, at least, as head of a caretaker government, ensuring that legal proceedings against him would only begin while he is still prime minister. This means he would receive preferential treatment (three more amenable district court judges in Jerusalem, instead of one Tel Aviv judge specializing in white collar crime). In that case, and since Netanyahu has already basically accused them of treason for just considering cooperating with the Joint List, what other options do they have than going ahead and cooperating with the Joint List?

      not begin while he is still prime minister.’

      and i don’t understand the last part if anyone can explain.

      • Mooser on November 18, 2019, 5:49 pm

        I think that Israel will find that a permanent interim between governments suits it just fine. A long period of diffused responsibility.

  2. JLewisDickerson on November 17, 2019, 7:32 pm

    RE: “There is to be an emergency rally against the inclusion of Palestinian parties tonight in Israel.” ~ Gurvitz

    Netanyahu Slams Benny Gantz and Leaders of Joint (Arab) List
    941 views • Nov 17, 2019
    LINK –

  3. Misterioso on November 18, 2019, 10:44 am

    Apart from its well documented over 71 years of monstrous crimes committed against the indigenous Palestinians, with power mad, devious, utterly dishonest, egotistical (ala Trump), warmongering and unscrupulous Netanyahu as its prime minister, legitimate criticism of “Israel” is easy, real easy.

  4. pabelmont on November 18, 2019, 11:30 am

    Kinda fun showing the whole world — or that part with its eyes at all open — that Bibi is a flat-out racist and as such represents much of Jewish Israel as well. We’ve known it but this make it ultra clear.

  5. Kay24 on November 18, 2019, 1:07 pm

    He failed to form his own government, at least he should shut his mouth, and keep his evil thoughts to himself.

  6. Kay24 on November 18, 2019, 3:39 pm

    Breaking news; Apparently Pompeo has stated that the the West Bank settlements are not illegal. Looks like Trump is making sure Adelson will pay those millions of dollars for his re=election.

    “The US has shifted its position on Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank, no longer viewing them as inconsistent with international law.
    US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the status of the West Bank was for Israelis and Palestinians to negotiate.
    Israel immediately welcomed the move – a reversal of the US position under Mr Trump’s predecessor Barack Obama.
    Settlements are communities established by Israel on land occupied in the 1967 Middle East war.
    They have long been a source of dispute between Israel and the international community, and the Palestinians, who swiftly condemned the move.” BBC

    • Mooser on November 18, 2019, 5:45 pm

      And what a good time for Pompeo to make that announcement! What better time than while Israel is between governments.

  7. brent on November 18, 2019, 8:22 pm

    Perhaps Gantz can become a Rabin. He’s been vicious enough.

    Called my senators and rep today asking them to see a blue-white and Arab list coalition as an opportunity to move ahead more constructively…. and to push the idea along.

  8. Vera Gottlieb on November 19, 2019, 2:29 pm

    This guy is vicious.

  9. Mayhem on November 19, 2019, 8:29 pm

    Netanyahu has made increasingly dire warnings about a Blue and White minority government backed by the Joint List of majority Arab parties, whose lawmakers he accused earlier this week of wanting “to destroy” Israel.

    Israel’s president Rivlin expressed his strong objection to these statements against members of the Knesset and Arab population.

    While Rivlin still feels that some comments by Arab MKs “regarding Israeli society, and particularly about IDF soldiers, are grave, shocking and unacceptable,” he opposes characterizing of all Arab lawmakers as a “fifth column” and “threat” to the country’s existence.

    The president said that we who live as sovereigns in our country, the Jewish and democratic State of Israel, must ensure equality of rights and respectful and meaningful discourse with all Israelis.

    All of this augurs well ultimately for Israeli democracy.

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