03/17/2020, 11.12
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Rabbi Milgrom calls for Gantz mandate, as sign of 'hope': end of Netanyahu era

The centrist leader has the support of 61 MPs (out of 120 in the Knesset). The coalition of the outgoing Prime Minister stops at 58. Israeli rabbi: the time has come for a "replacement" after three "artificial" elections wanted by Netanyahu to remain in power. Greater involvement of Israeli and Palestinian Arabs.

Jerusalem (AsiaNews) - In Israel there is a "small but concrete hope" that here will be a change in leadership and the end of a decade of power for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, despite the proclamations of victory launched in the aftermath of the March 2 elections.

Jeremy Milgrom, Israeli rabbi and member of the NGO Rabbis for Human Rights, points out to AsiaNews that opposition leader Benny Gantz could have sufficient numbers in the Knesset, the Israeli Parliament, "to form a new government". "The Netanyahu era - he underlines - has lasted too long, we hope the time has really come for a change".

Yesterday the leader of the Blue White centrist coalition Benny Gantz received the mandate from President Reuven Rivlin to form a government. In a weekend of intense electoral consultations, the current head of government garnered the support of 58 parliamentarians, while his rival totaled 61, the minimum out of a total of 120 in the Knesset - to have the majority.

Ehoing the President's position, Gantz launched an appeal to his rival Netanyahu for a government of national unity in this moment of emergency, with the country that has closed its borders and also hired intelligence services to counter the spread of the new coronavirus. The centrist leader assures that he wants to "form a government of national unity, as broad as possible, within a few days".

Gantz has 28 days to gather the necessary support in Parliament and start the government team. If necessary, President Rivlin could give him two more weeks. "These are not normal times," he added, "and leaders must put aside their personal ambitions."

A not too veiled reference to Netanyahu's obstinacy at wanting to remain in government and, in the case of an executive of national unity, to guide the first part of the legislature to procrastinate the opening of the judicial  processes against him for corruption. The first hearing was scheduled for March 17, but the proceedings were postponed for two months due to the ongoing global health emergency.

Jeremy Milgrom observes: “We witnessed three artificial elections, which were of no use. They were just one way [Netanyahu] wanted to stay in power and avoid prison. Two weeks ago, at the time of the vote and after the first exit polls, he tried to resell the relative majority obtained by his party as popular support for his mandate, that people were with him ... but it is not so ". The Likud, he adds, "needs him and he needs the party" to escape judicial troubles, in a "personal drama" that affects the country.

Today Gantz "can form a majority" continues Rabbi Milgrom, and this would represent "a great change, the end of an era". Netanyahu "has remained in power for too long" and this "is not a good thing in a democracy". He notes that it will be "difficult" passage because he "was proving less and less a democratic leader and more a small dictator", who tried to use "the coronavirus as a last weapon to remain in power".

the Rabbi concludes, that  in this new context "the hope is that the Arab party and the Palestinians will have more influence and greater involvement". This will allow "greater integration also at a political, social and occupational level".

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