A U.S.-born Israeli author and former politician says the coronavirus crisis was a major factor in bringing about what appears to be an end to the political deadlock in Israel.
In a stunning announcement, Benny Gantz, the leader of the left-of-center Blue and White Party, now intends to become part of a proposed unity government with right-of-center Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. As a result, the left wing of the Blue and White Party will split off and become part of a new opposition coalition.
"The plan right now ... is that it's going to be a rotation government," explains David Rubin, author of Trump and the Jews and a former mayor of the Israeli town of Shiloh. "The rotation will be rotating prime ministers; Netanyahu and Gantz will serve in rotation. Netanyahu will serve first for either one and a half or two years, and Gantz for the same amount of time."
Rubin says the coronavirus crisis definitely had an influence on the decision to form this unity government.
"Netanyahu is trying to navigate this very difficult challenge," the author asserts. "He's slowly been shutting down the country. His goal is to stop the spread of the virus and just knock it off completely as fast as possible and get the country up and running again, and it would be a lot easier for him to do that if he has a solid, stable coalition government that will stand behind any policies that he implements."
In this new coalition, Gantz would serve as Israel's defense minister.