JERUSALEM, Israel – Benny Gantz and Yair Lapid, the leaders of Israel's new Blue and White party vowed to defeat Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's Likud party in the April 9 election.
Gantz and Lapid addressed voters Thursday evening at the Tel Aviv Fairgrounds immediately after creating their new faction.
"This is a historic day for Israel because this picture of unity has not been seen here for dozens of years," Gantz said. "All of us have an ego and agenda, but when we saw the country torn apart, we put our egos aside, decided on a mutual agenda and decided to run together. We will work as a team to fix Israel."
Also part of the Blue and White party alliance is Moshe Ya'alon's Telem, which made an alliance with Israel Resilience last month.
If the new faction wins the election, Gantz and Lapid would both serve as Israel's Prime Minister. Gantz will serve for the first two and a half years while Lapid will be foreign minister and Ya'alon will lead the Defense Ministry.
Lapid would then take the position as prime minister while Gantz serves as defense minister.
The new Blue and White party has a fair chance at beating Netanyahu.
According to polls aired on Channel 12 and Channel 13, Blue and White is predicted to win 36 seats in the election with Likud only winning 26 seats in the 120 seat parliament.
Lapid criticized Netanyahu's "one-man rule" and argued unity is what Israel really wants.
"A winning team needs to be led," Lapid said. "I wouldn't be standing here today if I didn't believe that Benny Gantz could lead us to victory and then lead the country. He'll be an excellent prime minister. I believe in him.
After seeing the polls showing Blue and White defeating Likud, Netanyahu said "it is not at all certain" that his party will win the election.
He accused his opposition of being too left-leaning and too willing to compromise with the Palestinians.
"We may have a left-wing, Lapid-Gantz government relying on Arab parties. A government like this will destroy our economy. Sooner or later, probably sooner, they will establish a Palestinian state... that will endanger our existence," Netanyahu said.