Analysis: Gantz rollout was mix of Israeli motherhood and apple pie

In the United States, new politicians are taught to focus on unquestioned consensus American values like motherhood and apple pie.

January 29, 2019 22:06
2 minute read.
Benny Gantz, chairman of the Israel Resilience Party

Benny Gantz, chairman of the Israel Resilience Party. (photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)


Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analysis from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief


Former IDF chief of staff Benny Gantz spent decades in the army perfecting his aim in regular target practice.

He has now had just over a month in politics to figure out how to target Israelis. His maiden address at the Tel Aviv Fairgrounds on Tuesday night indicated that he hit the bullseye.
In the United States, new politicians are taught to focus on unquestioned consensus American values like motherhood and apple pie.

Gantz, who served for two years as the IDF attaché in Washington, appeared to find the Israeli equivalent in his speech, with slogans about the IDF and promises of clean governance.

“There is no more Right or Left but Israel before everything,” the loud speakers repeated ad nauseam, to get the message through that Gantz is the candidate for Israelis who are sick of politics and desperate for someone who can put the country first.
Gantz promised to “bring security with actions and not with words,” he used six different Hebrew words that mean strength and he repeatedly said that he would act “statesmanlike.”

He wants to pursue peace, but he is very skeptical, and meanwhile, he wants to make internal peace among Israelis. He would strengthen the settlement blocs – meaning not the isolated ones – and would never give up control over the Golan Heights.
“United Jerusalem will remain Israel’s capital forever,” Gantz said, in the ultimate consensus statement.

To appeal to right-wing voters, Gantz knows that he cannot criticize Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu too harshly, so his first criticism of him was not by name. His first mention of Netanyahu was about him making peace with Yasser Arafat, who Gantz called a mass murderer.

He talked about helping the periphery by building more hospitals in the North and the South. He reached out to Yesh Atid voters by calling for registration of civil unions of couples and public transportation on Shabbat “in communities that want it.”

Labor leader Avi Gabbay refused to mention the Western Wall agreement in his address two weeks ago. But Gantz did, in a gesture to progressive American Jews angered by Netanyahu’s rejection of it.

And the appearance of former IDF chief Moshe Ya’alon at the end of the event made Gantz look like a unifier.

The event ended with blue and white streamers falling from the ceiling after Gantz and Ya’alon sang “Hatikvah” together with young people in back of them.

If Gantz can continue hitting his target, the election could end up becoming more interesting.

Join Jerusalem Post Premium Plus now for just $5 and upgrade your experience with an ads-free website and exclusive content. Click here>>

Related Content

FROM LEFT: Michael Siegal, Jewish Agency chairman of the board; Owen Egre, 10,000th Onward Israel pa
June 26, 2019
Surge in Diaspora young professionals in Israeli programs


Cookie Settings