Benny Gantz quits gov't

Benny Gantz credit: Jerusalem Post Marc Israel Sellem
Benny Gantz credit: Jerusalem Post Marc Israel Sellem

In explaining why the 8 MKs of the National Unity Party are leaving the government, Gantz said that Netanyahu is preventing a genuine victory in the war.

National Unity Party chairman MK Benny Gantz tonight announced in a press conference that he and his party are quitting the government, eight months after forming a national unity government last October. The National Unity party has eight MKs, and their departure will leave the government of Benjamin Netanyahu, with a slim majority in the 120-seat Knesset.

Gantz presented Netanyahu with an ultimatum three weeks ago to change direction, after feeling that he and his party's influence over the conduct of the war has been dwindling. Since October, Gantz and Gadi Eisenkot have served along with Netanyahu, Minister of Defense Yoav Gallant and Minister of Strategic Affairs Ron Dermer in a five-man war cabinet. 

In this evening's press conference Gantz said that Netanyahu was preventing a genuine victory, which could only be achieved through a combination of military, political and diplomatic means. He said that a genuine victory included toppling and replacing Hamas, releasing the hostages, restoring peace to the north and forming a regional alliance against Iran.

He urged Netanyahu to agree to Knesset elections in the fall and he pledged to set up a State Commission of Enquiry into the failures of October 7.

Gantz said, "Honestly, entering the government was a simple decision. Leaving, when we the hostages remain in the Hamas tunnels, when the residents of the north are far from their homes, and thousands of fighters are on the front, is a complex and agonizing decision. Both decisions have one common denominator - the good of the State of Israel. We tried to influence the direction of the ship. The truth is the reality is not simple. I will not promise you an easy and quick victory. But the State of Israel needs and can achieve a real victory."

He added,  "A genuine victory puts the return of the hostages above survival in power. A genuine victory combines military success with a political and diplomatic initiative. A genuine victory will lead to the collapse of Hamas, and its replacement. A genuine victory will return the residents of the north home safely. A genuine victory will establish a regional alliance against Iran led by the US and together with the entire Western world. A genuine victory is to change the national priorities, to expand the circle of those serving the country, and to make sure that Israel is able to meet the challenges facing it and not to bring to the Knesset tomorrow, a law that harms the security of the state in time of war, because of a political debt.

"Unfortunately, Netanyahu is preventing us from progressing to a genuine victory, which is the justification for the painful and ongoing price we are paying. Therefore, we are leaving the emergency government today, with a heavy heart, but with a wholeheartedly. We are standing up today for the battle for the fate of the State of Israel for generations to come. To ensure a genuine victory, It is fitting that in the fall, one year on from the disaster, we will go to elections that will eventually win the trust of the people so we will be able to face the challenges."

Published by Globes, Israel business news - - on June 9, 2024.

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd., 2024.

Benny Gantz credit: Jerusalem Post Marc Israel Sellem
Benny Gantz credit: Jerusalem Post Marc Israel Sellem
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