Palestinian Balad Party refuses to endorse 'equally racist' Gantz

Palestinian Balad Party refuses to endorse 'equally racist' Gantz
The Palestinian Balad Party has refused to endorse Benny Gantz as Israel's next prime minister citing his racism against Arabs in the country.
2 min read
23 September, 2019
Ahmad Tibi slammed Benny Gantz for his racist policies [Getty]
A Palestinian party inside Israel broke an agreement to endorse former military chief Benny Gantz as prime minister as the country continues to work through a post-election deadlock.

On Sunday, the Arab joint list announced that it endorsed Gantz, saying its decision was not meant as approval of the ex-military chief's policies but as a way of helping oust current prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu.

However, the Arab Balad party broke the protocol, still refusing to endorse Gantz because of his racism toward Palestinians.

In an official letter to justify the refusal, Balad chairman Ahmad Tibi stressed that the Joint List's recommendation applies to only 10 of its 13 elected lawmakers, not including his faction.

"Balad has worked as part of the Joint List to take down Benjamin Netanyahu, and will clearly keep on doing so, but at the same time does not see Gantz as an alternative, when he and his party support the annexation of Jerusalem and the Golan Heights, threaten a war in Gaza and are unwilling to annul the racist Nation-State Law.

Gantz has a proudly violent military history, which includes his role in the brutal 2006 invasion of Lebanon and leading Operation Cast Lead - a military offensive that killed more than 2,000 dead, among which at least 1,400 children.

Meanwhile, Jewish Israeli politicians have been trying to decipher a solution to the political deadlock among themselves.

Netanyahu on Monday reiterated his call for Gantz to join him in a unity government, again acknowledging he was unable to form the right-wing coalition he hoped for.

"The only government that can be formed in these conditions is a united and large one between us," Netanyahu said at a meeting of Likud lawmakers.

"The only way to reach it is to sit down and talk."

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