İrem UZUN -TDO- The factions of MK Yair Lapid (Yesh Atid) and MK Moshe Yaalon (Telem) submitted their requests to break away from the joint Blue and White Party Thursday in response to party chairman Benny Gantz’s candidacy for the Speaker of the Knesset. Gantz was the only candidate for the position, and the vote for it is scheduled to be held later Thursday. His candidacy is supported by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and all the right-wing parties.
The three parties that made up Blue and White - Gantz's Hosen L'Israel, Yair Lapid's Yesh Atid and Moshe Ya'alon's Telem - all went in different directions. Hosen L'Israel is joining the government, Lapid will head the opposition and Telem will split up, with Ya'alon on the outside and divided. Gantz reached out to Lapid in a speech after getting elected Knesset speaker, in an effort to prevent the split "It has been my intention, and it is still my intention, to do everything possible to keep us together, and I urge all of my potential political partners to act in the same spirit," he said. "This is not the time for in-fighting and mud-slinging. This is not the time for controversy and divisions. This is the time for responsible, committed, patriotic leadership." But Lapid and Ya'alon responded by fiercely attacking him in speeches in Tel Aviv.
"We formed Blue and White to offer an alternative to the Israeli people," Lapid said. What’s being formed today isn’t a unity government or an emergency government. It’s another Netanyahu government. Benny Gantz surrendered without a fight and crawled into Netanyahu’s government".