Former IDF chief working on plan to draft all haredim and Arabs

The draft plan could be a stepping stone for Gantz to enter politics.

June 26, 2018 16:00
1 minute read.
Former IDF chief working on plan to draft all haredim and Arabs

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


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Former IDF chief of staff Benny Gantz is working on a new framework for drafting haredi (ultra-Orthodox) yeshiva students and Arab citizens of Israel, he revealed on Monday at a meeting of the Pnima organization in Lod.

Gantz, who is expected to enter politics ahead of the next election, told reporters at the meeting that he was working on the plan together with Pnima head Shai Piron, who was education minister in Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s last government on behalf of Yesh Atid.

Piron criticized current and past initiatives aimed at drafting more people for not going far enough.

“Completely giving up on service of Arabs and haredim is conceding our joint future,” Piron said. “Everyone understands that, except for those focused on their political survival. The proper path is to have deep dialogue among the sectors of Israeli society to ease fears and generate hope.”

The draft plan could be a stepping stone for Gantz to enter politics. He has not yet selected which party he will join, though he is being wooed by multiple parties.

On Monday night, a Midgam poll broadcast on Channel 2 found that Gantz is seen as the most fit candidate to be prime minister after Netanyahu.

The poll found that 34% of Israelis saw Netanyahu as most fit, followed by Gantz with 13%, Yesh Atid leader Yair Lapid with 9%, Kulanu head Moshe Kahlon 5%, Bayit Yehudi leader Naftali Bennett with 3% and Zionist Union leader Avi Gabbay with 3%

The poll found that the Likud did not do as well as it did in the last survey taken by Midgam on May 9. The new poll predicted 32 seats for Likud, down from 35 last month.

It also predicted 18 seats for Yesh Atid; 15 for the Zionist Union; 12 for the Joint List; seven each for Bayit Yehudi, Kulanu, and United Torah Judaism; six each for Shas and Yisrael Beytenu; five for Meretz and five for a new party being formed by former Yisrael Beytenu MK Orly Levy-Abecassis.

Asked whether their votes would change if a new party headed by Gantz was formed, the party would win 13 seats, taking away support from the Zionist Union, Yesh Atid, and Likud.

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