Benny Gantz, Rival to Netanyahu, Leaves Israeli Government; Coalition Remains Solid

This combination of pictures created on April 02, 2019 shows (L) Prime Minister Benjamin N

Benny Gantz, an opposition leader who brought his party into Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government after the October 7 attacks, announced Sunday that he would be leaving, accusing Netanyahu of bungling the war.

The oddly-timed announcement came just a day after Netanyahu oversaw a successful Israeli operation to rescue four hostages from Gaza. Gantz had expected to announce his departure Saturday night but postponed due to the news.

As Breitbart News reported in October:

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and opposition leader Benny Gantz agreed Wednesday to form an emergency government of national unity for the duration of the war against the Palestinian terror group Hamas.

The decision to set aside bitter political differences is a significant one, and marks the achievement of one of the goals Netanyahu listed in his speech to the Israeli nation on Monday. Gantz, a former defense minister and general in the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) who leads the opposition Blue and White Party, had previously vowed to “shake the country” if Netanyahu passed his judicial reforms (one of which, indeed, was passed).

But Gantz found it politically advantageous to leave, as protests against Netanyahu returned to the streets in some part of Israel in recent weeks, alongside protests for a hostage deal.

He had promised to leave by June 8 if his various demands were not met. The Times of Israel reported Sunday:

Declaring that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is “preventing us from reaching true victory,” National Unity chairman Benny Gantz says that his party is pulling out of the government, making good on an ultimatum.

His party joined the coalition following October 7 for the sake of the country even though “we knew it was a bad government” and has since seen strategic considerations pushed aside for political reasons, he says.

The timing of Gantz’s announcement has raised eyebrows for another reason: U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken is due to visit this week, and the Biden administration has been pushing for alternatives to Netanyahu.

Netanyahu’s 64-seat coalition has a strong enough majority to continue without Gantz’s 12 seats.

Some recent polls have shown Netanyahu rising and Gantz falling, which may have been another reason Gantz left: his voters are seeking an alternative, and the longer he stayed in government, the less he seemed to provide one.

Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). He is the author of the recent e-book, “The Zionist Conspiracy (and how to join it),” now available on Audible. He is also the author of the e-book, Neither Free nor Fair: The 2020 U.S. Presidential Election. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.


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