Gantz: Ashkenazi will be my defense minister, Ya'alon education minister

"There are two domains which are of significant importance in the State or Israel: security and education," Gantz said. "With that, I have decided to appoint Gabi Ashkenazi."

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September 16, 2019 14:02
1 minute read.
Blue and White leaders

Blue and White leaders, (L-R) Benny Gantz, Yair Lapid, Moshe (Bogie) Yaalon, and Gabi Ashkenazi, at a press conference, April 1st, 2019. (photo credit: AVSHALOM SASSONI/MAARIV)

Former IDF chief of staff MK Gabi Ashkenazi will be minister of defense if Blue and White leader Benny Gantz forms the government, Gantz announced on Monday.

"There are two domains which are of significant importance in the State or Israel: security and education," Gantz said. "With that, I have decided to appoint Gabi Ashkenazi, a former IDF Chief of Staff and Golani soldier who rehabilitated the IDF following the Lebanon War, for the position of minister of defense.  Gabi knows how to restore deterrence and a sense of security to Israeli citizens in the South, in the Gaza envelope, in the North and throughout the country. 

Gantz said another former IDF chief of staff, MK Moshe Ya'alon, who served as defense minister under prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu, would become education minister.

"Former chief of staff and minister of defense, Moshe Ya’alon, a man of unimpeachable moral character and someone who knows how to bring together the factions of Israeli society, I appoint to the position of minister of dducation to repair the rifts in Israeli society," Gantz said. "Now you just have to decide - an extreme, immunity government or a secular, unity government."

The foreign minister post has been reserved for MK Yair Lapid and the top woman in Blue and White, MK Orna Barbivai, would be a minister as well. MK Meir Cohen would be speaker of the Knesset. 

"Who would you prefer to face Hamas, former IDF chief of staff Gabi Ashkenazi or the man who gives [Hamas] suitcases full of dollars," Lapid tweeted, in a reference to Netanyahu. "Who would you prefer as education minister: [Yamina candidate Bezalel] Smotrich] and his racism or an honest man of values like Bogie Ya'alon?"

Netanyahu mocked the announcement, saying that if Gantz has already started allocating portfolios, "what positions did he promise [Joint List leaders] Ayman Odeh and Ahmad Tibi?"


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