Gantz Issues Ultimatum to Netanyahu: Put Post-War Gaza Plan in Place By June 8, Or Else

He’s out. He’s in. He’s out again. Benny Gantz, former Israeli Minister of Defense and deputy prime minister, is Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s top political rival. Gantz has been in leadership positions for years. 

Gantz was out of government when the October 7, 2023 massacres by Hamas were executed in Israel. He joined Netanyahu’s war cabinet. 

On Sunday, Gantz resigned from the war cabinet. He is frustrated with how Netanyahu is executing the war. 

“Netanyahu prevents us from moving forward to a real victory [in Gaza],” Gantz said in a televised statement Sunday in which he described leaving the government as a “complex and painful” decision.

“That is why we are leaving the emergency government today with a heavy heart, but with a whole heart,” he said.

Gantz has talked about resigning for a month. He planned to do so on Saturday but when the successful hostage rescue took place Gantz delayed his announcement for a day. 

Gantz said, “The situation in the country and in the decision-making room has changed.” He claims that Netanyahu is putting his own political considerations ahead of making a post-war strategy for the Gaza Strip. Netanyahu isn’t moving aggressively enough for Gantz. “Fateful strategic decisions are met with hesitancy and procrastination due to political considerations.”

Gantz urged Netanyahu to hold an election soon. “I call on Netanyahu: set an agreed election date. Do not let our people be torn apart,” Gantz said. Gantz has demanded Netanyahu put out a new plan for the war against Hamas. 

In other words, after eight months of war, Gantz wants to be in charge. He doesn’t just call on a new election, he wants the current defense minister to resign from the war cabinet. 

Gantz called for Israel to hold elections in the fall, and encouraged the third member of the war Cabinet, Defense Minister Yoav Gallant, to “do the right thing” and resign from the government as well. Gallant has previously said he would resign if Israel chose to reoccupy Gaza, and encouraged the government to make plans for a Palestinian administration.

Gantz wants Gallant to resign because it would put pressure on Netanyahu to hold an election. 

This boggles my mind. Israel is in a crucial war – a war for its very survival. Hamas has to be destroyed. Until then, there is no hope for executing post-war plans. To achieve a ceasefire, Hamas has to release the hostages. There is no such thing as a two-state solution as long as the hostages are held in Gaza and Hamas is in control of Gaza. 

This is a political move by Gantz, which is why he attacks Netanyahu from a political standpoint. Gantz wants to be prime minister. I find it ludicrous for him to call on Gallant to resign, too, as the war rages on. 

Gantz’s move will likely make the Biden administration happy. They are more in line with Gantz politically than with the more conservative Netanyahu. In Gantz’s absence, though, Netanyahu may rely more heavily on further right officials.  

Netanyahu urged Gantz to reconsider his move and to remain in the war cabinet. He called for unity, not division.

“Benny, this is not the time to abandon the campaign – this is the time to join forces,” Netanyahu said to Gantz in a post on X.

“Citizens of Israel, we will continue until victory and all the goals of the war have been achieved, most importantly, the release of all our hostages and the elimination of Hamas,” Netanyahu said.

Netanyahu said his door remained open to any political party that is ready to share in the burden of fighting the war against Hamas and will “help bring victory over our enemies and ensure the security of our citizens.”  

In the meantime, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken is in Israel today meeting with Gantz and Gallant. 

No doubt botching things up for Netanyahu. Biden’s mouthpiece in the Senate, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, called for a new election during a speech on the Senate floor. The Biden administration is trying to micromanage the war. Team Biden is utterly inept and is creating divisions to appease Hamas. It is unconscionable. Biden wants to appease Hamas to win votes in November from Muslim Arab American voters. 

Further proof of Biden’s appeasement to Hamas is that today the United States is bringing a resolution up for a vote in the UN Security Council to abandon the war while keeping Hamas in control.

Blinken and Biden want Netanyahu out. They are the last people who should be calling the shots in this war. We remember the disastrous withdrawal from Afghanistan. The Biden administration isn’t any smarter now. Biden and Blinken are dangerously naive. 

 

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