Former IDF chief of staff Benny Gantz speaks at Limmud FSU.
(photo credit: ROMAN YANUSHEVSKY)
Former IDF chief of staff Benny Gantz responded to the UN General Assembly vote Thursday, vowing to continue to defend Jerusalem and remembering sacrifices made to secure the city as Israel's capital.
"The capital of Israel is Jerusalem, no matter what," said Gantz at a Limmud FSU conference in Eilat on Thursday. "We fought for it, we were killed for it, and we will continue to defend it no matter what happens."
"I don't need an American president to tell me what my capital is, and I'm not excited by the vote that follows," he added.
An overwhelming majority
in the General Assembly voted in favor of a resolution condemning the US decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital.
Gantz also stressed the importance of maintaining a positive relationship with the nations of the world and diaspora communities in light of differences caused by US President Trump's recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital, referring to the world's Jewish communities as "partners in the Zionist enterprise."
As the IDF's 20th chief of staff, Gantz oversaw Israel's Pillar of Defense and Protective Edge operations in the Gaza Strip in 2012 and 2014, respectively.
"After Operation Protective Edge, I visited every one of the bereaved families," Gantz said. "Religious and secular, rich and poor, Sephardi and Ashkenazi, Jews and non-Jews. In a place of pain, there is space for everyone."
"I learned from this that there is space here for mutual happiness for everyone, for a shared life," the former chief of staff added. "We must learn to live together, and the framework of Zionism must know how to include everyone."
Since concluding his term as chief of staff in February 2016, Gantz has been repeatedly touted as a potential challenger to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu should he opt to enter politics. Gantz has, however, remained non-committal regarding his future plans.