Gantz pledges allegiance to Diaspora Jewry

Blue and White platform includes call for multi-denominational prayer area at Western Wall.

By
March 6, 2019 03:30
2 minute read.
An ad from the Blue and White faction attacking Netanyahu.

An ad from the Blue and White faction attacking Netanyahu. The caption reads, "The Kahanist Ben-Ari will sit with Netanyahu on the Defense and Foreign Affairs Comittee.". (photo credit: screenshot)

 
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The Blue and White Party of former IDF chiefs of staff Benny Gantz, Moshe Ya’alon and Gabi Ashkenazi and former finance minister Yair Lapid will make Diaspora affairs a top priority, sources in the party revealed on Tuesday.

In his maiden speech in politics on January 29, Gantz expressed support for the controversial Western Wall deal that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reached and then reneged on. Blue and White’s Diaspora affairs platform goes further, according to excerpts obtained exclusively by The Jerusalem Post.

“There must be a third section at the Western Wall to accommodate all Israeli and Jewish sectors of all denominations,” the platform says. “The egalitarian section must be expanded.”

The platform talks about the importance for all Jews to feel welcome and at home in Israel. After years of rifts between Netanyahu and progressive US Jews, Blue and White vows to “build on and reinforce the bridge between Israel and different communities around the world.”

Regarding absorption, the platform calls for additional immigration from Ethiopia, fighting racism and discrimination and working to increase a sense of belonging among immigrants from around the world. There is also a clause on improving pensions of elderly immigrants.

Russian immigrant Yoel Razvozov is 18th on the Blue and White list and Ethiopian immigrant Gadi Yevarkan is 33rd. But the native Americans and Canadians on the list were placed in the unrealistic 42nd to 46th slots.
A source in the party said the placements were “not reflective of the party’s positions.”

Two polls published Tuesday found that Blue and White leads Likud, with 36 seats versus 31 seats and 36 seats versus 30 seats in polls taken for Walla and Channel 12. The Walla poll gave the Right bloc a 61 to 59 lead and the Channel 12 poll said the 61 to 59 majority was for the Left bloc.

Blue and White began a negative campaign against Netanyahu on Tuesday under the slogan: “If you vote for Netanyahu, you will get extremists.”

The campaign features videos of Otzma Yehudit leaders Michael Ben-Ari and Itamar Ben-Gvir, as well as National Union leader Bezalel Smotrich.

In the first video, a young Ben-Gvir talks about how he vandalized then-prime minister Yitzhak Rabin’s car and “will get to Rabin” ahead of his assassination. In the second, Ben-Ari calls for IDF soldiers to refuse orders. The Smotrich ad features a statement he made against women.

The ad asks voters whether they want to see Smotrich as education minister, Ben-Ari in the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee and Ben-Gvir on the Judicial Selection Committee.

“Stop the craziness by voting for Blue and White,” the ads conclude

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