Blue and White (political alliance)
|Leader||Benny Gantz |
|Founded||21 February 2019|
|Member parties||Israel Resilience Party|
|Colours||Blue and white|
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Blue and White (Hebrew: כחול לבן, Kahol Lavan) is a political alliance in Israel. It was established to run in the 2019 Knesset elections by the Israel Resilience Party, Yesh Atid and Telem. Blue and White defines itself as a pluralistic party representing all citizens on the political and religious spectrums. Blue and white are the national colours of Israel and are used on the Israeli flag; the phrase "blue and white" is colloquially used to describe something as Israeli.
The alliance is led by Benny Gantz and Yair Lapid. Should it be the lead faction in forming a government, the two have agreed to a rotation which would have Gantz serving for the first two years as prime minister, with Lapid as foreign minister and Telem leader Moshe Ya'alon (in the third slot on the list) as defense minister. For the next two years, Lapid would serve as prime minister, with Gantz as defense minister. Following them on the party list are Gabi Ashkenazi, Histadrut Chairman Avi Nissenkorn, Meir Cohen, Miki Haimovich, Ofer Shelah, Yoaz Hendel, and Orna Barbivai. Chili Tropper, number 12 on the party list, is Gantz's speechwriter and closest aide.
Israel Resilience Party
On 16 February 2015, Gantz completed his term as Chief of Staff and began a three-year legal moratorium in which he could not run for the Knesset. This ended on 2 July 2018. Subsequently, in September 2018, it was reported that Gantz planned to enter politics.
On 26 December 2018, the 20th Knesset voted to dissolve itself and hold early elections. A day later, on 27 December, after 109 people signed a list of founders, the party was officially registered with the name Hosen L'Yisrael.
In May 2016, "amidst wide-spread speculation that he would be fired by Netanyahu", Moshe Ya'alon resigned from his defense minister post. On 12 March 2017, Ya'alon officially relinquished his membership of Likud, announcing that he would form a new party to challenge Netanyahu in the next election.
Yesh Atid was founded by Yair Lapid in 2012, running on a platform of representing the centre of Israeli society. In 2013, it placed second in the general election, winning 19 seats. It then entered into a coalition led by Benjamin Netanyahu's Likud.
In the lead-up to the 2015 election, Lapid's campaign continued to emphasize economic issues, while heavily criticizing Netanyahu and his Likud party. Receiving 11 seats, they placed fourth and sat in the opposition.
On 21 February 2019, the last day for submitting election lists for the Knesset, Yesh Atid and Israel Resilience announced that they would form an alliance for the upcoming elections. Gabi Ashkenazi, also a former chief of staff, would join the list in the fourth spot.
On 25 February 2019, Lapid stated that the party wishes to amend the Nation-State Bill, intending to add a civil equality article. Blue and White's party platform was released on 6 March 2019. The document reveals positions on a number of policy areas, key among them a commitment to engage with peace-minded Arab neighbors and a willingness to enter into negotiations with the Palestinians, albeit without land concessions.
The party believes in creating strong and stable government by limiting the prime minister to eight years or three terms and preventing anyone convicted of a serious crime from being a public official. They believe in a moral government that serves its citizens' interests, working to return money previously taken by political parties in behind-the-scene deals and using it to reduce the cost of healthcare, education and living. They aim to strengthen national security through developing the country's strategic capabilities and laying out a diplomatic initiative for peace with the Palestinians. Core pluralistic Jewish values are central to their campaign: the right of citizens to marry, divorce, parent and be buried according to their specific beliefs, and the responsibility of all citizens to serve in the army regardless of their religious levels.
Blue and White is committed to honesty and transparency in all domains. The following policies include examples of various legislative methods to achieve said goals:
Indicted or convicted politicians would be barred from running for public office.
Coalitions would be barred from using coalition funds for immoral activities that form an unfair burden on the public.
Religion and State
The protection of the Jewish identity of the state, as well as the identities of all of its citizens, would be of the upmost importance.
Laws regarding marriage would be adjusted in order to allow for every couple to marry according to their own beliefs.
Blue and White seeks to invest in early education and kindergarten. Daycare for young children would be subsidized.
English and mathematics would be highly prioritized in elementary, middle, and high school to better prepare students for succeeding in today's world.
Approximately 12.5 billion NIS (3.4 billion USD) would be invested in healthcare for all Israeli citizens. The party has pledged to fight against hospital closings, and to increase access to medicines throughout the country, including the periphery.
In order to increase Israel's per capita outcome, there would be a shift to a focus on macroeconomics as opposed to shortsighted microeconomic policies that do not properly expound a continual financial growth.
Blue and White seeks to encourage Israeli innovation in STEM fields, and to bring in more women and Hasidic Jews to the workplace.
On 7 March, in a speech to an English speaking audience, Lapid laid out four conditions for a peace deal with the Palestinians:
- The Israel Defense Forces being authorized to enter Palestinian territory if they are aware of terrorists planning an attack on Israelis.
- The Jordan Valley remaining in Israeli hands.
- No Palestinian right of return.
- Jerusalem remaining the undivided capital of Israel.
|Name||Ideology||Position||Leader||Slots on joint list||Current MKs|
|Israel Resilience Party||Social liberalism||Centre||Benny Gantz||
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|Yesh Atid||Liberalism||Centre||Yair Lapid||
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|Telem||National liberalism||Centre-right||Moshe Ya'alon||
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Gantz's centrist political party, Blue and White...
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