If Gantz fails to beat Netanyahu this time, he never will - analysis

Gantz's softball has arrived, and this is his opportunity to hit it. If he swings and misses now, he may not be the heavy hitter who would be needed to defeat Netanyahu.

BENNY GANTZ (photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)
BENNY GANTZ
(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)
When Blue and White Party leader Benny Gantz served as Israel’s military attaché in Washington, he drove cross-country on a motorcycle and soaked in American culture. During that time, he undoubtedly acquainted himself with American sports, including baseball.
Gantz waited to start his campaign for the March 2 election until after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu formally made his request for parliamentary immunity from prosecution for his three criminal cases. He patiently waited for conditions to be ripe, when Netanyahu would be most vulnerable.
Now his ball has been pitched, and it’s his opportunity to slam it. Should Gantz swing and miss, he may not be the heavy hitter needed to defeat Netanyahu.
Netanyahu is the most experienced player in the field. He has outlasted many political opponents and challengers.
He has learned how to minimize the impact of the criminal investigations against him. He did this effectively ahead of the April election.
He spoke incessantly about his impending criminal indictments. Strategists questioned why he was focusing so much on his weaknesses and not on his strengths.
But by the time his indictments, pending a hearing, were announced in March, people were sick of hearing about them. And by the time Election Day came, the announcement by the attorney-general had little to no impact.
This could happen again now. Netanyahu’s request for immunity is embarrassing. It was made even more humiliating because he earlier denied that he would seek immunity in such a high-profile manner.
Gantz will begin a full campaign to ensure that the public realizes the severity of their prime minister evading prosecution.
Blue and White intends to keep this campaign going nonstop until Election Day in two months.
But perhaps the voters by then will once again have their minds made up. Maybe those disgusted by Netanyahu’s behavior will still not vote for him, while those who perceive his probes as a witch hunt will continue to cast ballots for him, with no one actually changing their mind.
If that happens, Gantz will have failed three times to bring down Netanyahu – three strikes and you’re out.


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