Benny Gantz

Blue and White leader Benny Gantz will embrace all streams of Judaism as Prime Minister.

Addressing Jewish leaders from around the world at The Jewish Agency in Jerusalem, Gantz will also call for a compromise between Orthodox and non-Orthodox at the Western Wall.

“Every time I go to the Western Wall, I look at the sea of stones, the different sizes and shapes, like the streams we have in Judaism,” he said.

“I’m telling you today, the Western Wall is long enough for all.”

Stressing a need for unity among Jewish people during global anti-Semitism, Gantz stated again that he wants to avoid a third election and form a unity government.

“Israel requires a stable, responsible, and pragmatic government.,” he explained. “A broad liberal unity government, which I set out to establish from the moment I entered politics less than a year ago. This is the government the people chose and the one that they need”.

“The divisive dialogue is tearing our strong nation apart. It may serve political purposes but is shredding the fabric that holds us together.

“The rift between right and left, between secular and Orthodox, between the haves and the have-nots, between Jews and non-Jews, has grown wider and wider”.

Gantz and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reached an impasse in talks to form a unity government forming in Tel Aviv on Sunday.

Further negotiations are possible but a breakthrough is reportedly not anticipated.

Gantz was handed the mandate to form a government by President Reuven Rivlin last week.

The two discussed “available political options” according to a shared statement by both parties.

“It was agreed that both parties’ negotiation teams will continue to be in contact,” it added.

Gantz confirmed after the meeting he would do everything in his power to stop another round of elections.

Blue and White and Likud negotiation teams met in Ramat Gan prior to the leaders’ meeting.

Blue and White described the meeting being held “in good spirits” but no resolution was reached.

“Throughout the meeting, Likud kept on insisting they represent the ‘immunity bloc’, the 55 MKs supporting Netanyahu’s immunity despite the criminal charges held against him and his possible indictment,” noted a spokesman.

Likud however blame Blue and White for rebuffing a proposal to Rivlin last week.

“Blue and White refused the outline, which is the only path to a broad national unity government,” said a Likud statement.

Gantz and Netanyahu would be Prime Minister in a rotation government, Netanyahu initially for two years followed by Gantz in case Netanyahu is indicted on corruption cases.

Netanyahu failed to build a coalition after holding the mandate from Rivlin. Speaking to his cabinet, Netanyahu said a coalition was essential for Israel to face security challenges in the region.

“We must make tough decisions that require a government with broad shoulders,” he explained. “This is not a political question, but a national and security question of the highest order.”

With Blue and White holding 33 seats and Likud 32, the two parties could form a unity government but there has been continued disagreement over who should lead the country.

Netanyahu wants ultra-Orthodox and right-wing allies to sit with Likud and Blue and White. Gantz refuses to serve under a Netanyahu-led government while corruption charges persist.

Attorney General Avichai Mendelblit must decide whether Netanyahu will face charges in coming weeks.

A deadlock has arisen since Yisrael Beytenu leader Avigdor Lieberman refused to sit in a government with Netanyahu’s bloc.

Lieberman has not endorsed either candidate but favours a unity deal.

Shas party leader Minister Aryeh Deri is a member of Netanyahu’s right-wing bloc but reportedly said Israel is heading for a third round of elections inside 12 months with coalition talks “slim” in his view.