Former IDF chief of staff Benny Gantz began his campaign in surprising fashion on Sunday by using a word that has been taboo for politicians outside Meretz in recent years: Peace.
Gantz's Hosen L'Israel (Israel Resilience) Party released four videos that will be promoted on social media. The first three depict Gantz as a military leader, focusing on his successes in Operation Protective Edge and the 2014 assassination of Hamas military wing head Ahmed Jabari.
The fourth presents Gantz as a potential peacemaker, including quotes from a recent speech.
"There is no shame in desiring peace, and there is no shame in pursuing peace," Gantz said in the speech presented in the video, before explaining the need to tell future generations that Israel made a serious effort to achieve peace.
In recent elections, Zionist Union leader Isaac Herzog and Yesh Atid chairman Yair Lapid avoided using the word peace.
Sources in Hosen L'Israel said the videos were part of a strategy of presenting different sides of Gantz, with messages of both strength and hope. They revealed that the campaign would escalate in upcoming days.
The decision to focus on Protective Edge is intended to preempt attacks from the Right regarding his handling of the operation in the Gaza Strip.
The New Right party of Naftali Bennett and Ayelet Shaked responded that Gantz cannot boast of accomplishments in Protective Edge, because "he hesitated, dug in his heels, and did not succeed in defeating the Hamas."
"When Bennett pushed, Gantz put on the brakes," the New Right said.
Social Equality Minister Gila Gamliel (Likud) also criticized the videos, saying that only Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu deserves credit for the military operations that took place in his tenure.
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