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Thursday, September 26, 2019 

Israeli president Rivlin gives Netanyahu the task of forming a goverment

Reuven Rivlin's given Benjamin Netanyahu the task of forming a new government:
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has been given the job of forming a new Israeli government by President Reuven Rivlin, after the opposition rejected any national unity government that allowed Netanyahu to lead it.

The center-left Blue and White party of Benny Gantz won 33 seats to the conservative Likud’s 32 seats in the elections last week — the country’s second last year after the small, secular nationalist Yisraeli Beiteinu party of Avigdor Lieberman refused to serve in Netanyahu’s coalition with religious parties. The election produced a stalemate in which neither the left-wing bloc around Blue and White (54 seats) nor the right-wing bloc around Likud (55 seats) had enough seats to form a governing majority in Israel’s 120-seat Knesset. Lieberman held the balance and insisted on a unity government that included both of the two major parties. Netanyahu agreed, and offered Gantz a power-sharing deal. He reiterated that offer today upon being tasked with forming a government.

But Gantz refused to serve under Netanyahu in any capacity — even temporarily as part of a rotating prime ministership — because Netanyahu is facing indictment for charges that critics say are partisan and meritless.
From a logical perspective, it makes sense Rivlin would task Netanyahu to form a government - he's the one with experience in public office, while Gantz is not. But will Gantz be willing to cut out this nonsense, supporting trumped up charges of "corruption" against Netanyahu, and agree to form a government with him? That remains to be seen. Gantz isn't doing a bit of good here, at a time when Iran's nuclear threats loom large, among other serious issues.

For now, Rivlin did the right thing giving Netanyahu the assignment.

Update: Gantz seems to be willing to negotiate, but only time will tell if he's honest.

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