TEL AVIV – Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Saturday called on main political rival Blue and White leader Benny Gantz to fire two senior advisers for past comments comparing President Donald Trump to Adolf Hitler.
Ronen Tzur, Gantz’s closest aide who accompanied him to Washington to meet with Trump last month, in the past posted dozens of inflammatory tweets about the American president, including referring to him as a “psychopath,” “Donald Adolf Trump,” and remarking that Mein Trumpf was the book of the 21st century.
That same week, Gantz’s recent campaign strategist Joel Benenson was also discovered to have made incendiary comments on social media against President Donald Trump, including calling him “deranged,” “bigot” and “narcissist” and comparing him to Hitler.
Netanyahu on Saturday night called Gantz out for what he said was disrespecting the American president.
“President Trump is Israel’s biggest friend in the White House,” he said during a rally in Maale Adumim, a town near Jerusalem.
“You just can’t behave this way. Gantz, fire them again tonight.” he added.
בני גנץ, תעצור את הנזק ותפטר את היועצים הקרובים שלך שמשווים את נשיא ארה״ב דונלד טראמפ – להיטלר. הנשיא טראמפ הוא הידיד הגדול ביותר שהיה לישראל בבית הלבן. אסור להתנהג כך. גנץ, פטר אותם עוד הערב!
— Benjamin Netanyahu (@netanyahu) February 8, 2020
He also slammed Gantz for his refusal to condemn former prime minister Ehud Olmert over a proposed meeting with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas in New York City with the stated purpose of expressing their opposition to the U.S.’ peace plan.
Netanyahu noted that during his own tenure as prime minister, Olmert was prepared to relinquish the Jewish holy site of the Western Wall in a peace deal.
“A prime minister of Israel, Ehud Olmert, was prepared to give the Western Wall to the Palestinians,” Netanyahu told the crowd who responded by booing.
He continued by blasting Gantz, “a close friend and adviser to Benny Gantz,” for saying Olmert “should do whatever he wants” about meetings with Abbas.
“This is how a leader talks? It’s unbelievable,” Netanyahu said. “I’m now telling Benny Gantz, remove yourself from Olmert. Condemn Olmert. Why are you using toned down language? Why are you stuttering here? Tell him in no uncertain terms!”
Netanyahu also repeated his claim that Gantz would “not be able to form a government without [Joint List MK] Ahmed Tibi.”
Benenson, who was a strategist for both successful Obama presidential campaigns as well as Hillary Clinton’s failed bid against Trump, joined Gantz’s team last year.
In response to an October 2018 tweet that claimed Trump was “paraphrasing Hitler” in his speeches, Benenson posted: “It was Hitler’s speeches. … It’s also where he would have learned Hitler’s demonizing term for the press: ‘lugenpresse.’ Trump’s translation is ‘Fake News.’”
It was Hitler’s speeches. Given to him by Marvin Davis. It’s also where he would have learned Hitler’s demonizing term for the press: “lugenpresse.” Trump’s translation is “Fake News.” https://t.co/woKD471fri
— Joel Benenson (@benensonj) October 28, 2018
When reports emerged in September 2018 of a “secret resistance” to Trump within his own administration, Benenson tweeted: “What’s the big deal here? Hasn’t there been a secret resistance inside the White House every time in history when we’ve had a deranged, narcissistic, lying, ignorant, bigot as President?”
What’s the big deal here? Hasn’t there been a secret resistance inside the White House every time in history when we’ve had a deranged, narcissistic, lying, ignorant, bigot as President? https://t.co/hZdWiCH8FP
— Joel Benenson (@benensonj) September 6, 2018
A month earlier, Benenson called Trump a bigot and railed against Republicans who remained silent, calling them “political cowards” and “co-conspirators.”
The @POTUS is a bigot. And any Republican who continues to remain silent about what Trump is, is either a political coward or a co-conspirator promoting his bigotry. Show some character for a change @GOP https://t.co/03ejknEOEs
— Joel Benenson (@benensonj) August 3, 2018
In July 2018, Benenson said that Russian President Vladimir Putin is Trump’s “puppet master,” and that the American president is trying to “bullshit the world.”
It is utter nonsense that Trump “reversed” himself on Russia. Notion that he misstated a word while standing next to his puppet master Putin is as phony as a 3 ruble bill. Do not give him an inch as he tries to the bullshit the world.
— Joel Benenson (@benensonj) July 18, 2018
Tzur, too, had charged Trump of colluding with the Russians, tweeting in May 2017, “The most surprising thing about Trump is only one thing was leaked to the Russians until now.”
A tweet dated December 23, 2017, read: “It seems to me the best course of action is to offer Trump and Kim Jong Un a compromise: Russian roulette with two bullets. Whatever happens, happens.”
Keeping with the Russia theme, Tzur tweeted on December 11, 2016: “It seems the United States President Putin appointed Trump to be Secretary of State.”
To date, Tzur has still not deleted the tweets despite issuing a half apology two hours prior to Gantz’s meeting with Trump.
He released a statement, Tzur referred to Likud members and supporters as a cult.
“Seeing that some members of the cult have gotten overexcited at some tweets from past years I will clarify: There were certain issues that I thought differently about from the president (not that it matters to anyone),” he said.
“In the meantime it seems that [Trump] is the most courageous of all American presidents, and the most significant with regards to Israel’s security needs in recent generations and together with millions of Israelis I salute him.”