(JNS) The Likud is “careful to attack” Blue and White No. 2 Yair Lapid but not party leader Benny Gantz, Yamina Party leader said on Sept. 2, indicating that Likud is planning on a coalition deal with Blue and White after the Sept. 17 election.’‘

Speaking at an economic conference in Tel Aviv, Shaked said, “It’s clear that they’re [the Likud] preparing the ground to bring Gantz into a Netanyahu government.”

However, “Benny Gantz will not be prime minister,” she continued. “We will recommend [that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu [form a government], and I hope he will form a government with us. History has proven that he first talks with the left-wing parties.”

Turning to accusations that Netanyahu is harming Israeli democracy with his attacks on the country’s legal system and media, Shaked, formerly Israel’s justice minister, said Israel was “part of an exclusive club of 21 countries that were founded as democracies. We have a strong legal system and free media, so any cries to the contrary are excessive.”

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