Mr. Netanyahu was not named as a suspect in an earlier police investigation of the purchase of submarines and missile boats from Germany that caught up several of his close associates. The planned commission of inquiry lacks legal authority. It may summon any witness to testify but cannot compel anybody to appear before it.
The submarine affair has become a central element in the protests against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, where demonstrators have carried inflatable submarines inscribed with slogans like “S.S. Investigation.” Protesters are calling for a commission of inquiry into the affair, as well as calling on Netanyahu to step down in light of his corruption charges.
Gantz, according to the report, stressed that he is willing to “pay with [his] seat,” but will delay a decision for two weeks.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Friday that Israel’s authorization of the United States‘ sale of F-35 fighter jets to the United Arab Emirates was not part of the peace deal signed between the nations in Washington, and that this came about through discussions held by Defense Minister Benny Gantz with the Pentagon.
Meanwhile, in a statement of his own, Gantz claimed that negotiations on the sale of arms were known to some Israeli officials, but were kept hidden from him and Israel’s security establishment.
Some protesters accused Netanyahu of not condemning violence against them and also directed their ire at his coalition partner, Defense Minister Benny Gantz, for not taking a harsher stance against the violence.
„The fact that the Israeli prime minister has not once condemned the violence against the protesters is a green light for violence against citizens of the country,“ they said.
Gantz called on Public Security Minister Amir Ohana of Likud and acting police commissioner Motti Cohen to bolster police forces at the demonstrations against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu slated for Saturday evening.
The defense minister told Ohana and Cohen that „the violence toward protesters is evident and there’s a genuine fear for human life.“
More Blue and White party members are calling to end the collaboration with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud party and dissolve the government, broadcaster Channel 12 reported Sunday.
In an interview with Israel’s public radio Kan, chairwoman of the Knesset’s (Israel Parliament) Internal Affairs and Environment Committee Miki Haimovich said that more people within her party are thinking on such a possibility.
Israeli lawmaker Miki Haimovich, a member of Alternate Prime Minister Benny Gantz’s Kahol Lavan party, said on Sunday evening that there is a growing group in Kahol Lavan that is considering dismantling the partnership with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Passing legislation to keep protests away from Netanyahu’s residence in Jerusalem, to which Gantz’s party didn’t oppose, was the last of too many straws, bringing Kahol Lavan to its limit
Defense Minister Benny Gantz tweeted on Saturday night that violence against protesters is „intolerable“, adding that the demonstrations are a „legitimate and vital aspect of democracy“. He called on police to apprehend those attacking protesters and bring them to justice.
The Black Flag responded to Benny Gantz in a fiery tone: „Words do not suffice: as long as you serve the defendant you are just as guilty as he is – resign!“
Gantz is also expected to meet with U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper and other Pentagon officials in Washington on Tuesday, the Defense Ministry said Monday.
Gantz is also set to discuss international policy vis-à-vis Iran and strategy for stopping its expansion and entrenchment in the Middle East.
Netanyahu’s main coalition partners, Defense Minister Benny and Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi, were shunned from the trip
Kushner, O’Brien, US Special Representative for International Negotiations Avi Berkowitz and US Iran envoy Brian Hook, together with an Israeli delegation led by National Security Adviser Meir Ben-Shabbat, are set to take the first-ever direct flight from Israel to the UAE on Monday, on an El Al plane bearing the word “peace” in Arabic, Hebrew and English in honor of the historic moment.
So we must take seriously the report in Israel Hayom, the Netanyahu family’s private journal, saying that the prime minister is willing to give up the one-year budget – and consequently an election – in exchange for appointing the police commissioner and attorney general of his choice.
But Netanyahu said Israel would oppose such a deal, as the Israeli military must maintain superiority in the region.
The peace agreement “did not include Israel’s consent to any arms deal whatsoever between the United States and the UAE,” according to a statement from Netanyahu’s office.
“The U.S. made clear to Israel that it will always ensure to protect Israel’s qualitative edge.”
The prime minister did not reveal the deal to Gantz or Ashkenazi, even though they are both former IDF chiefs of staff, because he was afraid they would leak the secret negotiations, Netanyahu said in an interview with the Israel Hayom newspaper published on Monday.
„I have been working on this for years, and they have been here for just a couple of months,“ Netanyahu said.
Defense Minister Benny Gantz on Tuesday warned that the proliferation of the F-35 fighter jet was “not good for Israel,” following reports that the United States would sell the advanced aircraft to the United Arab Emirates.
“It’s not good for Israel that the plane is going around in other places. We need to talk to the Emiratis, to the Americans, and make sure that our security interests are being upheld,” Gantz told reporters in a press conference.
On Wednesday, Channel 13 reported that Meir Ben-Shabbat, chief of Israel’s National Securit Council, approached Israeli Air Force head Amikam Norkin in June for a review of Israel’s position on such a sale.
According to the report, the move came in a breach of the command chain, as Ben-Shabbat was supposed to first speak with Defense Minister and Alternative Prime Minister Benny Gantz, whom Netanyahu kept in the dark in regards to the upcoming deal with the UAE.
Gantz has now destroyed his own credibility by joining Netanyahu’s coalition, so has Labor leader Amir Peretz. Lapid remains the only leader of a major party on the center-left. Netanyahu has no choice but to take him on. But while Lapid’s inexperience and dilettantism gives Netanyahu ample ammunition against the former chat-show host and columnist, it also creates a dilemma for him. Attacking Lapid with all guns blazing increases his popularity in the anti-Netanyahu camp, where many have had trouble taking Lapid seriously. Lapid, unlike Gantz, Gabbay and Herzog, is also prepared to follow Netanyahu into the mud.
Gantz sat down for a lengthy and, at times, combative interview with Channel 12’s Dana Weiss, reacting in frustration at her suggestions that he was out of his depth and being outmaneuvered by Netanyahu at every turn. According to their coalition deal, Gantz is set to become PM in November 2021 as part of the power-sharing agreement between his party and Netanyahu’s, but Israel’s longest-serving premier is said to be seeking ways to avoid having to hand over the post, including by triggering new elections.
The Israeli premier reportedly wants immediate elections in case the High Court of Justice disqualifies him from serving as alternate prime minister, after his rotation with Gantz commences in November 2021, due to the indictments filed against him.
His second demand is to dissolve a public committee slated to appoint the state prosecutor and police commissioner and transfer the procedure to the government instead.
The report suggested that Gantz’s Blue and White party will find it „difficult“ to approve Netanyahu’s first request.
The bill, brought forward by Kahol Lavan’s former political allies Yesh Atid, is aimed at preventing Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu from running for office in the next election. Netanyahu currently stands trial for suspected bribery, fraud and breach of trust.
Gantz’s party said that if the bill was not fully passed on Tuesday, it would be pointless to consider other proposals in the future.
Likud does not plan to agree to the demand, viewing members’ backing of the bill in a preliminary vote is a gesture of goodwill and not having decided on their position.
The bill will be brought to a preliminary vote by the Knesset on Wednesday. Gantz’s party and ultra-Orthodox Shas party announced they would vote in favor.
Netanyahu’s original plan was to go through the motions of trying to set up a new coalition, declaring failure and setting a date for a fourth election. He was sidetracked by the sudden realization that Gantz could be coaxed into an illusory power-sharing agreement, thus precipitating the break-up of Netanyahu’s center-left opposition while delegitimizing his partner’s leadership role at the same time. Gantz was forewarned that Netanyahu was laying a trap for him, but decided, naively and disastrously, to walk straight into it.
Gantz sat down for a lengthy and, at times, combative interview with Channel 12’s Dana Weiss, reacting in frustration at her suggestions that he was out of his depth and being outmaneuvered by Netanyahu at every turn. According to their coalition deal, Gantz is set to become PM in November 2021 as part of the power-sharing agreement between his party and Netanyahu’s, but Israel’s longest-serving premier is said to be seeking ways to avoid having to hand over the post, including by triggering new elections.
Defense Minister Benny Gantz on Wednesday demanded the arrest of perpetrators of violent attacks on demonstrators calling for the ouster of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
„They must be caught and brought to justice, the protest will not be silenced as long as we are here,“ he said.
Israel is drawing up a secret list of military and intelligence officials who might be subject to arrest abroad if the International Criminal Court in the Hague opens an investigation into alleged Israeli war crimes in the Palestinian territories.
Haaretz has learned that this list now includes between 200 and 300 officials, some of whom have not been informed.
Israel’s Defense Minister and Alternate Prime Minister Benny Gantz, has entered quarantine after being exposed to a coronavirus carrier, Hebrew outlets reported Wednesday.
Gantz’s home will be equipped with the means necessary for him to fulfill his role, a defense ministry spokesperson said in a statement.
The Knesset on Wednesday voted against forming a commission of inquiry that will probe conflicts of interest of Supreme Court justices.
Earlier on Wednesday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud party said it would back the initiative by far-right lawmaker Bezalel Smotrich of the Yamina faction to establish such a commission.
Alternate Prime Minister Benny Gantz’s Kahol Lavan party called the move „a declaration of war on democracy.
„We are in contact with the American team here in Israel,“ Netanyahu said at a Likud meeting. „We are doing so discretely. The issue is not up to [Gantz’s party] Kahol Lavan. They are not a factor either way.“
Earlier on Monday, Gantz met with Trump’s special envoy Avi Berkowitz and U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman to discuss the Trump administration’s peace plan.
This isn’t how a political leader talks, and certainly not one who is interested in being an alternative to the inciter in the Prime Minister’s Office. Gantz’s contempt for the Palestinians demonstrates arrogance, pettiness and lack of understanding of the national conflict between the two peoples. If there’s any “deep shit” in which the Palestinians are drowning, it’s the 53-year-old occupation, a messianic project of oppression that has been perpetuated by successive Israeli governments and maintained by the army, formerly headed by Gantz himself.
The offer, according to the paper, would upend a rotation agreement between Netanyahu and Gantz for the premiership as stated in their coalition agreement signed earlier this year.
Likud party officials insist it would be „unreasonable“ for Netanyahu to honor the agreement – which allows Gantz to become Prime Minister in November 2021 – due to his politically weakened position, according to a string of national polls.
Gantz, who in the past publicly backed dialogue with the Palestinians toward an agreement leading to a two-state solution, said the Israeli government should “not only to manage the conflict but shape it as well.” And if the Palestinians choose not to hold talks with Israel about the annexation, “then we will have to move forward without them,” he said.
According to the report, Netanyahu was surprised to learn that Alternate Prime Minister Gantz and Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi have many reservations over the annexation plan.
Israeli Defense Minister and Alternate Prime Minister Benny Gantz commended Friday the UN atomic watchdog’s demand of Iran to grant inspectors “immediate access” to nuclear sites in its territory.
The polls are predicting 40 to 41 Knesset seats for Likud, with Kahol Lavan plummeting to 10 or 11. And given the trend line of the past two months, Gantz’s party might find itself in the single-digits in a week or two.
Thus, with the rightist/ultra-Orthodox bloc winning 64 to 65 of the Knesset’s 120 seats (not including Avigdor Lieberman’s Yisrael Beiteinu), Netanyahu’s temptation is understandable.
The Kahol Lavan leader seems to have forgotten that his party was supposed to represent an alternative to Netanyahu’s aggressive ways
The nation-state law is the constitutional cornerstone of apartheid. And naturally, Hauser’s arguments also tie into the intent to annex parts of the West Bank in the framework of U.S. President Donald Trump’s peace plan: Israel intends to expand its violations of its residents’ equal rights on an ethnic/racial basis.
It’s turning out much sooner than expected that when parts of Kahol Lavan joined the right-wing government, their merger was an expression of a deep ideological partnership.
The left put former generals at its helm and failed (they joined the right), as well as civilian personalities, who also failed to deliver the goods. It tried a decentralized model, with Labor and Meretz running separately, and hit a wall. It learned its lesson and ran as a united front of multiple parties (Labor and Meretz, Kahol Lavan), also meeting no success. It flirted with a post-Zionist concept and a state of all its citizens (Meretz) or, alternatively, highlighting its Zionist image (the Zionist Union), failing both times in garnering public support. …
The Knesset (Israel Parliament) also passed a raft of legislative changes to the country’s semi-constitutional Basic Laws, paving the way for a government to be established after more than a year of political deadlock.
Die Koalitionsvereinbarung von Netanjahus Likud mit dem Mitte-Bündnis Blau-Weiß sei zwar juristisch problematisch, hieß es in dem Urteil. Dennoch gebe es gegenwärtig keinen Grund für das Gericht, sich einzumischen.
The parties also decided that emergency orders instated to fight the coronavirus pandemic would not extend beyond six months.
The bill known as the „Norwegian law,“ which allows any Member of Knesset (Israel Parliament) appointed to a ministerial post to temporarily resign from the legislative chamber, will reportedly be dropped.
Every day that passes provides more proof of the twisted state of Israeli democracy, in which a defendant under criminal indictment leads the government and is a candidate to form the next one.
According to The Times of Israel, Chief Justice Esther Hayut signaled during the proceedings that the court will neither stand in the way of Netanyahu forming a government nor of the coalition deal moving forward.
The Israeli justice system has received eight complaints from good governance groups and lawmakers concerning the terms of the coalition agreement and the possibility of Netanyahu leading the government despite facing multiple indictments in a wide-ranging corruption investigation.
Expanded panel hears arguments Sunday on request that prime minister be disqualified over the criminal charges against him
The so-called „Black Flag“ protests were organized by the Movement for Quality Government under the slogan “Saving the court, saying no to corrupt government”. Protesters carried signs that read „We’re sick of corruption“ and „emergency government, corruption government“. At the mention of members of Benny Gantz’s Kahol Lavan party the crowd booed and shouted, „Shame!“
Gegen das Regierungsbündnis wurden acht verschiedene Beschwerden bei Israels Oberstem Gerichtshof eingebracht.
Schin Bet hatte nach Beginn der Coronavirus-Krise Überwachungstechnologie eingesetzt, die sonst zur Terrorbekämpfung dient. Menschenrechtler hatten dagegen geklagt. Von offizieller Seite wurde die Maßnahme mit der Notwendigkeit gerechtfertigt, Leben zu retten.
Two weeks ago, the council had already discussed the possibility of a popular revolt and how the government could prevent an uprising against the authorities. Among other things, it considered how the state “could forestall dangers that could lead to widespread social unrest” that might spark protests against the government and state institutions.
It turns out that soldiers and officers from one of Military Intelligence’s classified intelligence gathering units gathered data and analyzed it for the task force that the National Security Council appointed for this purpose.
Die überwiegend schwarz gekleideten Demonstranten trugen Atemschutzmasken und hielten untereinander den wegen der Corona-Krise vorgeschriebenen Abstand von zwei Metern ein. Ein Polizeisprecher sprach von mehreren Hundert Teilnehmern, israelische Medien dagegen von etwa 2000.
Thousands of Israelis demonstrated Saturday to protest a deal struck earlier this week between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and parliament speaker Benny Gantz to form a unity government.
Nothing of the like has been seen before – not in Israel or in any other advanced democracy. This political agreement, fundamentally corrupt and rotten, emasculates the Knesset under cover of the coronavirus, undermines the foundations of our system of government and subordinates the Supreme Court to the government.
The obvious reason for its existence is neither the coronavirus nor the crisis, but immunity for the criminal defendant, Benjamin Netanyahu, in any situation and at any price.
As part of the agreement, Netanyahu will be able to veto the appointments of the next attorney general and state prosecutor. His trial in three corruption cases is set to begin on May 24.
Netanjahu soll als Erster eineinhalb Jahre lang das Amt bekleiden und dann von Ganz abgelöst werden.
Owen Alterman reports from a ‚Black Flag‘ protest in Tel Aviv’s Rabin Square, where Israelis are protesting against Benjamin Netanyahu.
More than 2,000 Israelis took to the streets of Tel Aviv on Sunday, demonstrating against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s attempts to form an “emergency” government with his chief rival and accusing him of using the coronavirus crisis to escape prosecution on corruption charges.
The pattern is familiar and dangerous: Start with ostensibly minimal means for a limited time, then expand the means and duration until they become permanent. Now it’s the fight against the coronavirus, tomorrow it will be the fight against crime – and finally the fight against the government’s opponents. History is paved with examples of emergency measures becoming routine.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his rival Benny Gantz failed to reach a deal after they met Wednesday for the third time since Monday, in a last-moment attempt to form a national unity government to confront the ongoing health emergency and the upcoming economic crisis.
Rivlin agrees to give Gantz until Wednesday
Außerdem wollte Netanjahu demnach eine Garantie, dass das Höchste Gericht ihm das Amt des Regierungschefs nicht wegen seiner Korruptionsanklage verweigern kann.
Ausschlaggebend für die Weigerung des Staatspräsidenten war offenbar ein Gespräch mit Premierminister Benjamin Netanyahu. Dieser habe nicht bestätigt, dass er kurz davor sei, sich mit Gantz auf eine Koalition zu verständigen, teilte das Büro des Staatspräsidenten in einer Erklärung mit.
Gantz hatte seine Bitte um Fristverlängerung damit begründet, dass sein Bündnis Blau-Weiß und Netanyahus Likud-Partei sich bald einigen würden.
If there is indeed no deal by the end of Gantz’s mandate period, there will follow a 21-day window during which any Member of Knesset (MK) could form a government.
The move was “[a] gesture of national responsibility to form a unity government as soon as possible,” Netanyahu’s Likud party claimed in a statement.
The former military chief’s Blue and White party replied, “We will continue our efforts to create an emergency and unity government that will manage the coronavirus crisis… will guard the rule of law and prevent fourth elections.”
The Health Ministry sent a letter on Wednesday to hospitals, calling on them to reduce their use of anesthesia, due to a global shortage of anesthetics coupled with the use of many anesthetics to treat coronavirus patients. (…)
1:35 P.M. Bnei Brak hospital says it cannot accept more patients requiring ventilators
The Ma’ayanei HaYeshua Hospital in Bnei Brak says it can no longer accept patients who require ventilators because of a shortage in monitoring devices required to operate them.
With Joe Biden possibly the U.S. president come January 20, many Likudniks think it’s now or never for a West Bank land grab
One of first jobs facing a Netanyahu-Gantz government will be to appoint a permanent state prosecutor. Netanyahu must not be allowed to control or have even the slightest influence over who gets this post, given the important role the state prosecutor will play both in managing Netanyahu’s trial and in potential future investigations.
A criminal defendant will stay prime minister. Netanyahu has been rewarded, not punished, for his misuse of power in recent days. The exclusion of the Arab minority continues. And more than a million Israelis who voted for Blue and White have received a brutal lesson in political cynicism.
In all of this, Gantz is now Netanyahu’s partner.
„The coronavirus pandemic appears to be accomplishing something that three elections couldn’t — it’s forcing Israel’s deeply divided leaders to put the health and safety of the nation ahead of their own political fortunes,“ Israeli-American political analyst and author Joel Rosenberg told CNBC over the weekend.
The Blue and White alliance finalized its split Sunday, which saw Benny Gantz-led faction, set to form a unity government with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud, divorcing fellow centrist parties Telem and Yesh Atid, who will remain in opposition.
Israel Resilience party leader Benny Gantz will reportedly support a new law allowing incumbent Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to serve in the government despite multiple indictments against him, according to Hebrew media.
Current Israeli Parliament (Knesset) legislation bars elected officials from serving as government ministers while being charged with a crime.
The activists say they use the black flag, pinning them to the back of vehicles, to symbolize the danger a prime minister under indictment poses to Israeli democracy, according to The Times.
Netanyahu was indicted last year on three charges following a years-long corruption investigation, including breach of public trust, bribery, and fraud.
Lapid, who heads Yesh Atid, told journalists at a press conference that „Benny Gantz decided today to break apart Blue and White and crawl into Netanyahu’s government.“
„What’s being formed today isn’t a unity government and not an emergency government. It’s another Netanyahu government. Benny Gantz surrendered without a fight,“ he added.
Gantz was a source of hope to millions of Israelis yearning to put an end to Netanyahu’s rule, which is crushing democracy while tearing the population to shreds. On Thursday their hope was shattered, to the laughter of the opposing camp, the one that led the country into moral corruption and that has now added another soldier to its ranks and bought about the disintegration of the alternative.
Benny Gantz could have made history by forming a minority government with the support of the Palestinian parties. Instead he dismantled his own political camp and joined his rival.
Lapid lambasted Gantz’s actions as „a betrayal to voters and a theft of votes.“
Horovitz added that Gantz was “spitting in the face” of his voters with his latest decision.
The Meretz leader called on others in the left bloc to not support this move.
In a dramatic turn of events, the Blue and White Party that served as the alternative to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in the March 2 election, broke up on Thursday after party head Benny Gantz decided to enter Netanyahu’s government.
While last week Gantz agreed in principle to join a unity government with Likud that would be headed by Netanyahu for a limited period until Gantz replaced him, he has pulled back following criticism from supporters.
“First, we will get Israeli democracy back to working – and later we will form a government that will deal with the coronavirus and the other challenges that are on the line,” Gantz wrote on Facebook on Tuesday. “We must not let the coronavirus crisis, which requires thorough attention – medical, social and economic – trample over Israeli democracy. Not on my watch.”
Other special committees to be established will focus on education, violence in Israeli Arab communities and labor and welfare; the four special panels will need to be approved by the plenum Tuesday.
These included Finance and Foreign Affairs and Defense panels, with the latter set to establish a special committee that will supervise the contentious Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency)-led coronavirus patients surveillance program.
On top of all that, this would be political idiocy of the highest order, because sooner or later, Gantz and Gabi Ashkenazi will discover what their colleagues in Kahol Lavan’s cockpit, Moshe Ya’alon and Yair Lapid, have already learned through bitter experience: That Netanyahu is exactly what people say of him – a liar, devoid of credibility and dangerous to Israel, just as Kahol Lavan’s leadership so ably explained in election after election. And then, when people once again seek an alternative, nobody in Kahol Lavan’s electorate will give it their vote.
Taking to Twitter, Gantz wrote that “exceptional times, unfortunately, call for exceptional measures. [However,] Blue & White will insist that the Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, along with a special corona sub-committee, the Finance Committee and other sub-committees be enlisted immediately to oversee the process and approve the type of oversight regulation so critical at this juncture.”
He added that “a functional parliament, even and especially in states of emergency, is a hallmark of democracy and we will be steadfast in preserving it.”
Benny Gantz – the main rival to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu – has been given the chance to form a new coalition government in Israel.
Mr Netanyahu’s Likud party won more seats than Mr Gantz’s Blue and White in the general election. But Mr Gantz was backed by a thin majority of lawmakers.
“Tomorrow, around midday, the president will assign the task of forming the government to head of (centrist Blue and White party) Benny Gantz,” President Reuven Rivlin’s office said in a statement.
The party has rejected this option in the past on principle that Netanyahu should not serve as premier because of his indictment in corruption cases.
Both Netanyahu and Gantz have repeatedly spoken of winning a “Jewish majority” in the election, a deeply controversial notion that in spirit delegitimizes the votes of Arab citizens of Israel. However senior lawmakers from Blue & White met with their counterparts from the Joint List on Wednesday to discuss the possibility of the latter’s recommending Gantz as prime minister during consultations with President Reuven Rivlin tomorrow (Sunday, March 15). Gantz, the head of Blue & White, needs the support of the Joint List to show he has enough backing to form a government. Before the Corona crisis, Gantz had adamantly refused to join a government headed by Netanyahu as long as he is under indictment.
Next Tuesday, March 17, Netanyahu’s trial will commence in the Jerusalem District Court.
According to a statement from Netanyahu’s bureau on Friday morning, the premier stressed to Gantz during their nighttime meeting that „terror supporters“ cannot be part of said government, neither in normal circumstances nor in emergency.
The comment seems to be implicitly refering to members of the Arab-majority Joint List, the third largest party in the Knesset, which Netanyahu heavily vilified during Israel’s numerous election campaigns over the last year.
Kahol Lavan leader says ‚emergency‘ government should ‚include all parts of the house‘ ■ Party officials believe that the health emergency would make it difficult for Gantz to gain legitimacy to promote political moves
Benny Gantz intends to form a government and have it sworn in by March 23, a source familiar with the Kahol Lavan leader’s plan told Haaretz on Tuesday.
Kahol Lavan’s raison d’etre is to bring the era of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to a close. It’s no coincidence that they’ve been dubbed the “Just Not Bibi” party. The glue holding the party’s disparate parts together is the absolute certainty of Benny Gantz, and the factions to his left (Yesh Atid) and his right (Telem), that for Israel’s good, Netanyahu must be replaced. That’s why the party was founded, and that’s why people voted for it.
Earlier the Kahol Lavan leader met with Lieberman, agreeing that the main goal is to avoid a fourth round of elections ■ Gantz to hold meeting with all four leaders of Joint List faction Tuesday
„Agreed. We need to move forward,“ Gantz tweeted in response a list of demands that the Yisrael Beiteinu leader listed earlier Sunday in a Facebook post.
Joint List MK and Balad Chairman Mtanes Shehadeh said Saturday following Gantz and Netenyahu’s statements that „the arab community has spoken, they want a change in their position and aim for an end to discrimination and racism. Netanyahu would die to disqualify them but could not, and Gantz would have liked to ignore them but he couldn’t.“
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu suffered a blow on Thursday afernoon when Yisrael Beytenu leader Avigdor Liberman endorsed Blue and White leader Benny Gantz’s efforts to pass a law that would prevent an indicted MK from forming a government.
In the recordings, published by Israel’s Channel 12 News on Thursday — less than a week before Israelis head to the polls — the strategist was heard telling an anonymous source that his boss might „endanger the people of Israel,“ and that he „doesn’t have the guts to strike in Iran.“
The adviser to the former army chief was also heard saying that a Kahol Lavan lawmaker had harshly criticized the leader of her party. „She [Knesset member Omer Yankelevich of Kahol Lavan] says that he’s stupid and a total loser and that he shouldn’t be prime minister.“
Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud party is projected to win a narrow lead over Benny Gantz’s Kahol Lavan in next week’s Israel election, according to two polls published Sunday by Channel 12 and Kan public broadcaster.
The CPI observed that “The true ‘Deal of the Century’ is a prime minister accused of corruption and a president under an impeachment trial attempting to save each other through a dangerous political maneuver that will set military rule over the Palestinian people in the occupied territories for generations.” The CPI reiterated its consistent and well-known position that “Only recognition of a Palestinian state, its people and its borders, and the end of the occupation is a long-overdue international obligation and a positive step towards peace. All states must now formally recognize a sustainable Palestinian state being established contiguous with the 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital, demanding the end of the settlements policy and a just resolution of the Palestinian refugee question.”
Deal of the century offers Israelis annexation right now and Palestinians a Bantustan in the far future
“The moment Israel carries out annexation it destroys this alibi and admits it does not think the final status needs to be determined by negotiations, and that Israeli control of the Palestinian population is not temporary,” says Sfard. “It destroys its only defense against the claim it is establishing an apartheid regime.”
It is no coincidence that the prosecutor at the International Criminal Court in The Hague, Fatou Bensouda, mentioned Netanyahu’s intentions for the Jordan Valley when she determined that, as far as the objectives of international criminal law are concerned, the authority of the ICC should be recognized. These statements, she said, “reflect concerns of a potential de jure annexation.”
Vor seiner Abreise zu einem Treffen mit US-Präsident Donald Trump sagte Netanjahu heute während einer Kabinettssitzung in Jerusalem: „Ich werde mich morgen mit meinem Freund Donald Trump treffen, der seinen Jahrhundertplan vorstellen wird. Ich glaube, dass es so eine Gelegenheit einmal in der Geschichte gibt, und wir dürfen sie nicht verpassen.“
Israeli officials say that the plan would promise the application of Israeli sovereignty to all existing Jewish settlements in the West Bank, in addition to annexing the Jordan Valley
Let’s imagine the next scenario: A unity government has been set up in Israel along the lines of President Rivlin’s proposal – which specifies a rotation of the premiership between Benjamin Netanyahu and Benny Gantz. Donald Trump lays the “deal of the century” on the table. Netanyahu would say this is no time to change a prime minister. This is a historic, one-time opportunity Israel is getting a de facto green light for annexation from the United States.
US President Donald Trump will host Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the White House next week to discuss his long-awaited plans for Middle East peace, the White House said.
Der rechtskonservative Ministerpräsident Benjamin Netanjahu hatte bereits vor der vergangenen Wahl im September erklärt, im Falle eines Wahlsieges das Jordantal annektieren zu wollen. Im Dezember sprach er davon, „eine US-Anerkennung unserer Souveränität im Jordantal und allen Siedlungen in Judäa und Samaria (Westjordanland) (zu) erzielen“.
Up until recently, Kahol Lavan leader opposed publication of peace plan during campaign, calling it ‚outright intervention‘ in Israeli election
Kahol Lavan needs to break sharply to the right, not just to attract the voters it needs, but also to make it easier for other right-wing parties to join a Gantz government
It seems as if our leftist politicians have simply given up all hope, or pretense, of getting their act together.
Now they are looking to Kahol Lavan leader Benny Gantz, hoping he will be so kind as to stick his hand into the wading pool in which they are drowning, pull them out and sit them down nicely one next to the other.
„Das wäre nicht passiert, wenn es nicht bereits zwei gescheiterte Versuche Netanyahus gegeben hätte, eine Koalition zu bilden. Alles deutet darauf hin, dass Netanyahu auch nach einer dritten Neuwahl kein Bündnis bilden kann.“ Denn weiterhin schließen mögliche Koalitionspartner eine Zusammenarbeit mit Netanyahu aus: Avigdor Lieberman und dessen Partei Israel Beitenu sowie das Bündnis Blau-Weiß von Benny Gantz.
Jabareen added that if that is the case, Gantz and his faction will not be able to count on the support of the Joint List — an option seriously discussed following the September elections. “There was talk all along the way of our external support to enable the formation of a different kind of government, but this will not happen given the annexation intention and masquerading as Likud II,” Jabareen said.
He reminded us that the Joint List — the Knesset’s third-largest faction — wields significant power both in the domestic political arena and in the international one.
Officials in attorney general’s office reportedly say that if Netanyahu extends sovereignty over Jordan Valley, settler leaders and IDF officers could be probed
In his remarks made at a conference in Jerusalem, Gantz said that Netanyahu turned the annexation of the West Bank — a highly contentious issue — into a talking point, but did little for the people living there.
Blue and White, he said, would be just the opposite – the plans for annexing the Jordan Valley, set to be Israel’s ‚eastern wall‘, are ready, and standing at the helm the party will implement them.
Alluding to Netanyahu’s role in the right-wing campaign against former Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin in the run-up to his assassination, he said: „Someone who spearheaded the harsh and painful campaign against Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin of blessed memory, which ended in a national disaster, should know that dangerous words are doomed to turn into deadly bullets.“ He added that „a true patriot“ would not „hold Israeli citizens hostage to his legal battle.“
“No party leader is above the nation,” the centrist leader continued. “Netanyahu must remember, there is still a democracy in Israel even if it appeals to him less.”
The former military chief stipulated that there is no citizen whose vote is not worthy; regardless of sector, ethnicity or religious faith. “I was ready to make far-reaching compromises in order to create a united and stable government,” he added.
Scheitert auch das innerhalb der nächsten 21 Tage, droht Israel eine dritte Parlamentswahl innerhalb eines Jahres. Dann würde das Parlament automatisch aufgelöst. Innerhalb von 90 Tagen müsste dann regulär eine Neuwahl angesetzt werden. Sie könnte nach Medienberichten in der ersten März-Hälfte stattfinden.
Weder die rechtsgerichtete Likud-Partei von Netanyahu noch Gantz‘ Mitte-Rechts-Bündnis Blau-Weiß konnte sich bei der Parlamentswahl im September eine Mehrheit sichern. Liebermans laizistisch-nationalistische Partei Israel Beitenu gilt seitdem als Königsmacher.
Gantz said after meeting with Netanyahu in a statement on his twitter that „Israel needs a broad and liberal unity government, which will consist primarily of the two major white-led political parties that won the elections.“ According to him, it is „a government whose founding lines will be set on the basis of the major parties and therefore cannot be built on one or the other sectoral bloc.“
With only a day left until his mandate to form a government expires, Kahol Lavan leader Benny Gantz continues his attempt to secure a coalition, while Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud claiming that a Gantz-led minority government backed by the country’s Arab parties would be a „national attack on the State of Israel.“
The survey, commissioned by Army Radio, showed 49% of Israeli-Arab citizens supporting the Joint List, made up of four separate Arab parties, backing Gantz from outside a coalition government even if it includes secular right-wing politician Avigdor Liberman, head of the Yisrael Beiteinu party.
„There is an agreement among Kahol Lavan [leaders] to go for a minority government with the Joint List. We know for a fact that they made this decision,“ the prime minister claimed in an emergency meeting he held with Likud lawmakers.
Moreover, the two main inciters, Netanyahu and Lieberman, are exploiting both the tense security situation and their polished racist rhetoric to put enormous pressure on Gantz to enter a unity government based on the president’s proposal. Gantz, who until now has demonstrated impressive steadfastness, must not cave into this pressure. Soon, the dense smoke of the rockets will dissipate, and Israel will once again be overshadowed instead by the picture of the serial criminal suspect Netanyahu, the man who is unfit to be prime minister.
Likud, however, seeks to have Netanyahu remain in office for a year or until his trial begins.
In addition, Gantz said: “Instead of security considerations dictating political behavior, political and personal considerations are dictating security considerations.”
Netanyahu took particular umbrage with that statement, shaking his head vigorously when Gantz made it and using his right to respond in the Knesset to deny it.
In principle, the candidate whom the president grants the right to form a government does not need a majority of 61 to do so. All that is really needed is a situation in which more hands vote in favor of the government than oppose it.
“As the prime minister of Israel I shall aspire and act to turn this rally into an official rally shared by all of Israeli society,” said Gantz, who was asked in October to form the next government, after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu returned his mandate to President Reuven Rivlin. “I want this square to be balanced, for all the streams to find their place in it and to sincerely mourn this debased murder.”
„What has been happening in the past few days must be stopped,“ Gantz said. „It’s unacceptable that while we are talking about [forming] a government to rehabilitate diplomacy, to back the Israel Defense Forces, to empower the law enforcement institutions and safeguard a free press, Netanyahu, who is in charge of all these systems, is spreading blatant messages against them.“
Kahol Lavan leader Benny Gantz met on Thursday with the leaders of the Joint List, an alliance of four Arab-majority parties, as part of his effort to form a governing coalition after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu failed to do so.
Yair Lapid, the No. 2 on the Kahol Lavan roster, said at the party meeting that a government can’t be created in the space of 48 hours, and that all Netanyahu had to agree to was to be second in the rotation – i.e., to agree that Gantz serve as prime minister first, then Netanyahu. But what Netanyahu wants is a third election, Lapid said.
“That’s what his lawyers suggested to him, that’s what he needs because of the indictments,” Lapid said.
White House senior adviser Jared Kushner met Benny Gantz, the leader of the Blue and White party, for the first time on Monday in Jerusalem.
Why it matters: This was the first meeting between Kushner and Gantz, who has 23 days to form a government. It shows that the Trump administration is adapting to the new political reality in Israel.
According to reports in the Hebrew media, Gantz could offer Netanyahu a “compromise deal” that would force him to choose between including his religious allies in the coalition, and being prime minister first in any rotation deal.
The political whirlwind and the desire to avoid another election might cause Gantz to forget the reason his party won 33 Knesset seats and became the largest political party in Israel, namely that the people are sick and tired of Netanyahu. They are sick not only of the abundant criminal accusations now under review at a hearing, but also of his corrupt and cynical politics, which have put his personal survival above any other value, and in the name of which he has pitted parts of Israeli society against each other.
Israel’s president tasked Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday with assembling a new government after power-sharing talks with his strongest rival, Benny Gantz, failed following an inconclusive election.
Yes, this initiative of yours, Mr. President, is very grave indeed! You are dividing the country on an ethnic basis, you are placing one people above another, one public above another, one group above another, when your job is to say loud and clear: They are all my sons. And for this you do not have a mandate. You do not have a mandate to divide the country between Jews and Arabs. You do not have a mandate to exclude a fifth of the population.
Less than a week after his impressive electoral achievement, the head of the largest Knesset faction, Kahol Lavan leader Benny Gantz, conceded his right to be the first to try and form a coalition government. The explanation given by “party sources” for this concession is that Gantz prefers to wait for Netanyahu to try first and fail.
Regrettably, this lame excuse is unconvincing. This move looks like a capitulation without a fight, an admission that the right wing’s long-standing tactic of delegitimizing parties representing Arab society succeeded.
Netanyahu getting a first nod from the president would land a harsh blow on the center-left’s morale, which could facilitate Netanyahu’s plan to divide the party from within. The nightmarish vision of Netanyahu settling back in the driver’s seat and recklessly pushing the gas pedal to reach his target would make a mockery of his clear-cut defeat in last Tuesday’s election. While Gantz and his colleagues rejoice over sucker Netanyahu supposedly falling into their well-laid trap, their supporters will see them as naive novices who could soon add insult to injury by reneging on their main pledge not to participate in his coalition.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (L) shakes hands with Blue and White party leader Benny Gantz (R) as President Reuven Rivlin looks on, at the President’s Residence in Jerusalem, on September 23, 2019.
Diskin’s remarks followed a furore over comments made on Wednesday by Israel’s serving military chief, Benny Gantz, which starkly contrasted with Netanyahu’s rhetoric on Iran. Gantz said he did not believe the Iranian leadership was prepared to „go the extra mile“ to acquire nuclear weapons because it was „composed of very rational people“ who understood the consequences.
The Israeli military chief described the Iranian government as “rational” in interviews published Wednesday and said he did not believe it would build a nuclear bomb, appearing to put some distance between himself and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak.
“I believe he would be making an enormous mistake, and I don’t think he will want to go the extra mile,” the chief of staff of the Israeli Defense Force, Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz, told the left-leaning newspaper Haaretz, referring to Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
The Israeli government has done everything in its power to reject those of us who are Arab Palestinian citizens, but our influence has only grown. We will be the cornerstone of democracy.
Rare move by Joint List in bid to ‚end the Netanyahu era‘ could give Kahol Lavan leader first chance at forming coalition ■ Lieberman: ‚Joint List members are enemies‘
All eyes are on Yisrael Beiteinu’s Avigdor Lieberman and the Joint List, comprised of four Arab-majority parties, in order to gauge Kahol Lavan leader Benny Gantz’s chances at unseating Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Neither parties have announced officially whether they would recommend Gantz to the president, and are expected to make their decisions public later Sunday.
In 1992, Knesset members from Hadash and the United Arab List backed Yitzhak Rabin, who wasn’t their cup of tea, as prime minister. This eventually led to the allocation of significant funds for the benefit of the Arab community – without mentioning the mutual recognition between Israel and the PLO, and the Oslo Accords.
Gantz’s Blue and White Party have 33 seats to Likud’s 31 in the latest standings from Tuesday’s do-over election, according to Israel’s Central Elections Committee.
Election officials say tallies won’t be absolutely final until they have investigated the ballots at 15 polling stations where there were suspected voting irregularities.
Gantz responded to Netanyahu’s request by saying he would only lead a „liberal“ coalition, a statement which excluded the ultra-Orthodox political bloc on whom Netanyahu has relied throughout his tenure.
Moshe Yaalon, another Blue and White leader, added that the party would not enter into a coalition led by Netanyahu because of the corruption charges against him.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s chief rival, Benny Gantz, declared victory after near-final vote tallies on Thursday showed his party slightly widening a narrow first-place finish in this week’s parliamentary elections.
Netanyahu did not challenge Gantz’s declaration.
Ganz hatte seinerseits im Wahlkampf ausgeschlossen, als Nummer zwei hinter Netanjahu in die Regierung zu gehen. Staatspräsident Reuven Rivlin, der einen weiteren Wahlgang unbedingt vermeiden will, begrüßte umgehend Netanjahus Aufruf. Ganz kündigte eine Erklärung noch vor Mittag an.
Nach der Parlamentswahl in Israel hat sich Ministerpräsident Benjamin Netanyahu für die Bildung einer breiten Einheitsregierung ausgesprochen. Die Ergebnisse zeigten, dass er die von ihm versprochene rechtsgerichtete Regierung nicht bilden könne, sagte Netanyahu in einer Videobotschaft.
Parliamentarian Aymen Odeh told Army Radio Wednesday morning he would consider supporting Netanyahu’s chief political rival as official results trickling in continued to solidify a strong showing for the coalition of Arab parties.
The chairman of the Joint List of Arab parties, Ayman Odeh, said Wednesday that he may recommend Blue and White leader Benny Gantz as the next prime minister when he meets with President Reuven Rivlin.
Gantz has already reached out to him, Odeh said, adding that “on Wednesday afternoon, we will decide which path to take.”
As of Wednesday morning, Gantz had already reached out to Ayman Odeh, leader of the Joint List, the conglomeration of four Arab parties that scored remarkably well in Tuesday’s election, securing 12 seats.
Netanyahu’s recent announcements, like a pledge to annex parts of the West Bank he made three days before the April 9th elections, have barely registered in the campaign of Blue and White, the centrist party co-led by Generals Benny Gantz, Moshe „Bogie“ Ya’alon, and Gabi Ashkenazi (all former chiefs of the Israeli Defense Forces) along with former finance minister Yair Lapid
A large majority (76%) of those surveyed supported Hadash MK Ayman Odeh’s declaration last Friday, August 23, that he would join a moderate-center government; 65% of those asked expressed their full support for the Joint List joining a coalition headed by Kahol-Lavan (Blue & White); and 20% responded they neither support nor oppose the such a move.
Youssef Makladeh, the CEO of Statnet, told Maariv: “This isn’t new; past surveys have indicated that the Arab community in Israel is more interested in more pragmatic leadership that will work towards solving more acute issues, such as curbing the spread of violence, [achieving] building permits [for Arab towns], [developing local] infrastructure and sewage management [for their places of residence].” Makladeh added, “For the first time in a decade, an Arab leader has thrown the ball into the court of the Jewish parties.”
Vote left, vote right, just don’t vote nothing. The nothing of Kahol Lavan isn’t merely nothing, it’s an actively destructive nothing. It suffocates any possibility of providing an alternative and eliminates any hope for change.
Speaking to the press in Tel Aviv, the three leaders of the Democratic Union – MK Nitzan Horowitz, MK Stav Shaffir and former prime minister Ehud Barak – also took Blue and White to task for what they described as its right-wing policies, arguing that the party would not replace, but instead participate in, a right-wing government.
“He wanted us to split up Blue and White and offered to bring us in under all kinds of conditions,” he said. “He offered me anything I wanted in return. But still, we stuck to our principles.”
Gantz added, though, that had Netanyahu “offered a rotation deal where I was prime minister first, then there would have been something to talk about.”
Tell me, Kahol Lavan, have you lost your minds? Did you get sunstroke? Were you blinded by the neon lights at the office of your political strategist Moshik Teumim? This is your election campaign – war before everything?
The right-wing Likud maintains a razor-thin lead over Blue and White, projected to win 31 seats in the Israeli parliament (Knesset) compared to the centrist party’s 30 seats if elections were held today, according to a joint poll between i24NEWS and Israel Hayom.
Despite the emphasis on its place in Israeli politics, the alliance’s campaign tactics can leave voters bewildered.
„Netanyahu pressed the button for the Knesset dissolution and there is no turning back,“ Gantz says in a statement to the media from Tel Aviv. „Netanyahu sees (election) polls and invents lies.“
Netanyahu and Blue and White party co-chairman Benny Gantz are reportedly not personally involved in any negotiations over a unity government.
Blue and White issued a statement reacting to the report, saying, “There is only one option for cancelling the elections: Netanyahu steps down to deal with his legal issues and Blue and White will lead a wide government.”
Also, back in April, neither Kahol Lavan chairman Benny Gantz nor leading party figure Gabi Ashkenazi bothered to attend the seminar for new MKs, meant to prepare them for working in the Knesset.
Taken together, these reports paint an unflattering picture of an amateurish, disorganized, lazy opposition party. Despite the military background of some of its leaders, formulating a strategy and pursuing it with determination and consistency doesn’t appear to be the party’s modus operandi.
Israel wählt heute ein neues Parlament. In Umfragen liegen die Likud-Partei von Premier Netanyahu und das „Blau-Weiß“-Bündnis von Ex-Armeechef Gantz gleichauf.
Blue and White (Kahol Lavan) Party leader, Benny Gantz said that his party is „half a metre from winning,“ in Tel Aviv on Monday, as parties scrambled to rally last-minute voters for the upcoming national election. „Friends, we need two more seats, and we must have two more seats. It is only a few tens of thousands of people,“ Gantz said.
„A Palestinian state will endanger our existence and I withstood huge pressure over the past eight years, no prime minister has withstood such pressure. We must control our destiny,“ the premier said.
After boasting that he was responsible for U.S. President Donald Trump’s declaration recognizing Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights, Netanyahu told the program „Meet the Press“: „Will we move ahead to the next stage? Yes.
A new poll published by Israel’s Channel 13 Tuesday night predicted that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud party would overtake his rival Benny Gantz’s Kahol Lavan.
According to the poll, Likud would get 29 Knesset seats if elections were held today, whereas the political alliance headed by Gantz would get 28 seats.
A network of hundreds of social media accounts has been working to boost Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s re-election campaign and smear his opponents ahead of next week’s election, the New York Times and Israeli daily Yedioth Ahronoth reported on Monday, citing a report by a watchdog group.
Blue and White leader lashes out after report says fake Facebook, Twitter network operating to promote prime minister’s reelection on April 9; party says it has filed complaint with police
An Israeli watchdog group has found a network of hundreds of social media accounts, many of them fake, used to smear opponents of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in next week’s election and to amplify the messages of his Likud party, according to a report to be released Monday.
The messages posted on the network’s Twitter and Facebook accounts are frequently reposted by prominent Likud campaign officials and by the prime minister’s son, Yair Netanyahu, the report says.
According to the findings of the Big Bots Project, this network has posted more than 130,000 times in Hebrew on Facebook and Twitter – posts that have had 2.5 million hits in Israel. These posts have the sole purpose of praising Netanyahu and spreading false information about his rivals, primarily his main challenger Benny Gantz, the former IDF chief who leads the Blue and White Party.
This is a serious mistake. High turnout among Arab Israelis isn’t only critical to bolster their sense of belonging to the state; it’s also a necessary condition for replacing the government. Netanyahu understands this very well. That’s why he has made keeping the Arabs away from the polls a key political goal – in order to keep the left out of power.
(today) The Mossad, Israel’s foreign intelligence agency, is currently headed by Yossi Cohen, who was chosen for the post by Prime Minister Netanyahu after serving as his national security adviser.
Even if Iran really turns out to be responsible, it does not amount to more than an embarrassment, Pardo said. „Anybody who understands anything about cyber security knows that if somebody wants to do harm – illegitimately and unethically – they can disseminate fake, fabricated information – and go prove that it’s wrong.“
According to the report, Netanyahu asked the former head of the Shin Bet, Yoram Cohen, to use his security service’s “special capabilities” to monitor the communications of senior defense officials, including former IDF chief of staff Benny Gantz and former head of the Mossad spy agency Tamir Pardo.
“I made inquiries about everything I could do. I checked with previous Mossad chiefs. I checked with legal advisers. I consulted anyone I could consult in order to understand who is authorized to give instructions about the whole issue of starting a war,” he said.
Among the people he spoke to was the attorney general at the time, Yehudah Weinstein. At some point, Pardo admitted, Netanyahu became aware of his activities.
“He was supposed to protect his phone. That is his personal failure. If Gantz can’t protect his phone, how will he protect the country?” Netanyahu asked. “Second, Gantz and Lapid supported the dangerous nuclear deal with Iran, the deal that I fought and I am glad that I acted successfully to convince the president of the US to leave and to renew sanctions on Iran.”
Speaking at a joint press conference with Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, Netanyahu responded to the report about Gantz’s request that the Shin Bet investigate, saying,“They [Kahol Lavan] are trying to drag the Mossad, that magnificent organization that protects Israeli security, into the political discourse. That mustn’t be done, and I don’t plan to let it pass. The leaks about Gantz came from the headquarters of [Yesh Atid Chairman Yair] Lapid and Gantz, so I am calling on them to show responsibility, be statesmanlike, and leave the Mossad and the Shin Bet out of politics. We have enough things to fight about.”
Benny Gantz and the other leaders of the Blue and White party have already declared they will not join a government if Netanyahu heads it, because the attorney general, Avichai Mandelblit, has declared his intent to indict Netanyahu.
In the recording, broadcast on Israeli television news, Gantz said Netanyahu may have coordinated with the Russians to hack his phone
Let’s make it simple: Benny Gantz is either a coward or an immoral person. There’s no third option. These are the only possibilities, in light of his refusal to state clearly his preferred solution for the Palestinian issue and his unbelievable refusal to discuss the occupation. It’s hard to say which option is more disheartening.
In israelischen Medien wird davon ausgegangen, dass das Netanjahu-Lager die Information an die Medien weiterspielte, um Gantz unter Druck zu bringen.
Dieser wies alle Vorwürfe zurück und bestritt die Behauptung Netanjahus, auf dem Handy hätten sich sensible Daten befunden. Er sei daher auch nicht erpressbar. Netanjahu griff Gantz bei einer Pressekonferenz jedoch an und warf ihm vor, die Unwahrheit zu sagen: „Was wissen die Iraner über dich, das du uns nicht sagst?“
(19.3.2019) Blue and White leader challenges Netanyahu to debate, says there was nothing sensitive on device and his wife supports him; rules out coalition with Arab Israeli parties
First, in all the interviews he evaded giving a direct answer, which would clarify whether he and his ticket support the two-state solution. Hard to believe, but such a basic question was left without an answer, apart from evasive, cowardly beating around the bush.
“Given that the ‘hack’ reportedly took place a long time ago, and given that it’s inconceivable that a source in the security services would leak details about an alleged ‘Iranian hack,’ and noting the timing of the ‘leak’ [in the middle of an election campaign] — it was clearly done by someone who has access to sensitive defense information and possesses an interest in harming Gantz,” the party charged in an official appeal to Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit on Saturday night.
Benny Gantz, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s toughest rival in Israel’s upcoming parliamentary election, dismissed as “political gossip” on Friday media reports of allegations that his mobile phone had been hacked by Iranian intelligence… “We’re in the middle of an ongoing security event…and someone’s putting out a political gossip story,” Gantz said. “I do not think Benny Gantz is the story here. There’s no security issue there. No threat and no blackmail.”
In special press conference, main Netanyahu rival calls the story ‚a political spin,‘ said no compromising data was found in phone ■ Likud petitions election committee not to allow live broadcast for fear of electioneering
As it stands, Kahol Lavan maintains a lead of only three seats.
The poll also shows that if the elections were to take place today, six parties would teeter on the brink of the electoral threshold. Avigdor Lieberman’s Yisrael Beiteinu, the United Arab List-Balad, Meretz, Moshe Feiglin’s Zehut party and Naftali Bennet and Ayelet Shaked’s Hayamin Hehadash would all make the minimum four seats needed to enter Knesset.