Gantz: Talking to Likud has been like talking to a wall – Israel News

Blue and White leaders Benny Gantz and Yair Lapid renewed their call for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to return to the negotiating table without his right-wing and religious partners at Monday’s faction meeting at the Knesset.Gantz said that negotiations with other parties made serious progress on key issues that ordinary citizens care about like helping the poor and the handicapped and matters of religion and state like the Western Wall deal on egalitarian prayer at the holy site. He said he wished talks in Likud were also about substance.”We asked to meet with Likud on key issues, but we soon realized we were talking to a wall and talking to a bloc,” Gantz lamented. “It is time for Netanyahu to conduct real direct negotiations. Instead of inciting, let’s talk.” Gantz called on Netanyahu to apologize to Israeli Arabs for his criticism of them, which Gantz said crossed all red lines. “The words coming out of Netanyahu’s mouth in the past few days are incitement to violence,” Lapid said. “They are words spoken by followers of [Hebron massacre murderer] Baruch Goldstein, not by a prime minister. It will end badly. He knows it will end badly. He’s been there.”Lapid mocked Netanyahu for calling the possibility of him leaving the Prime Minister’s Residence an Iranian victory: “The eradication of the Zionist regime”? Have you lost your mind? You’re recruiting Khamenei to your campaign? What are the people who heard you yesterday meant to think? If it’s the destruction of Zionism, what are they expected to do to prevent it?”Lapid said that if there ends up being violence against Arab citizens, it will be Netanyahu’s fault. Nonetheless, he still asked him to join a unity government.”I’m calling on Netanyahu – come and join us,” he said. “Stop the incitement. Come and form a unity government. Give up your haredi [ultra-Othrodox] messianic bloc, be second in the rotation and we’ll form a government. We will have a government that’s strong on security, strong on the economy and strong on unity for the people of Israel.”

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Author: The Jerusalem Post