Analysis: Did Gantz make a political mistake by breaking his silence?

Gantz would have preferred to stay silent a little longer. There was no great strategy when he spoke for the first time on Monday morning.

By
January 15, 2019 05:58
1 minute read.
Analysis: Did Gantz make a political mistake by breaking his silence?

Former IDF chief of staff Benny Gantz speaks at Limmud FSU. (photo credit: ROMAN YANUSHEVSKY)

 
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There were those who wanted former IDF chief of staff Benny Gantz to have already published a 200-page document detailing his platform in several languages.

And there are those who thought it would have been impressive had Gantz managed to have gotten away with doing and saying nothing until the April 9 election.

But neither was meant to be.

Gantz would have preferred to stay silent a little longer. There was no great strategy when he spoke for the first time on Monday morning.

The group of Druze officers who made Gantz’s Rosh Ha’ayin home their first stop on their week-long campaign against the Jewish Nation-State Law gave him no choice but to open his mouth.

It is questionable whether the two sentences that Gantz uttered about the law and the Druze community really constituted his maiden speech in politics.

But history has proven that one shot is enough to start a war. That one shot was already enough to compel his political enemies to use their ammunition that they had been preparing for months.


Gantz’s associates were happy to see how far the Likud went in blasting Gantz. Nothing proves that a politician is more viable than the fact that 30 MKs put out statements reacting to what he said within an hour.

The fact that the Right attacked him on Monday for endorsing changes in the Nation-State Law did not change the fact that on Sunday he got attacked by Yesh Atid leader Yair Lapid as well, who referred to his party as a hologram.

His associates promised that there would be plenty of reasons for the Left to attack him. That’s what happens when you are a moving political target.

It was a risk for Gantz to speak out against a Basic Law that is popular among the general public. But polls show that there is a majority that backs helping the Druze guarantee their rights that are not in the law.

Staying completely silent would have been the best strategy, had it been possible.

In politics, there are different rules than in the army. But in both, every move will be scrutinized and can only truly be judged when the battle is over.

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