Likud and the New Right blasted former IDF Chief of Staff Benny Gantz after he unveiled his Israel Resilience party's platform in his first speech since entering politics.
Gantz thanked Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for the past decade of his service as prime minister and vowed to replace him. He praised Netanyahu for trying to achieve peace in the Wye River Accords but said “no leader is a king” and repeatedly criticized him for his alleged corruption.
"He doesn't know that we are a democracy. I do not know what his entire list is and I still don't know what his agenda is. I still think he is all Left and all he wants is to take down the Right," said Culture and Sport Minister Miri Regev from the Likud Party. "He said the tunnels [from Gaza] were not a security threat. At the end of the day, the chief of staff needs to make recommendations to the prime minister."
"You said the tunnels aren't a danger. You say you will make responsible decisions? Why doesn't he say what he intends to do with Judea and Samaria? Is he afraid to show who he really is? He attacks the prime minister. How is he not ashamed of himself?" Regev said speaking to Keshet news.
Science Minister Ofir Akunis, also of the Likud party responded to the speech Gantz gave tonight claiming Gantz spoke a lot, but said nothing.
"We heard a lot of slogans, but we did not hear the positions. Cover and hide.. this is not how a leader should act and especially not as a statesman," Akunis said.
"Obviously when you have Leftist positions, you must hide them from the public, to gather votes." Akunis concluded.
Newly-appointed opposition leader Shelly Yachimovich, of the Likud Party, also spoke about the leadership qualities of Gantz. MK Yachimovich was appointed as leader of the opposition after publicly dismissing Tzipi Livni, who held that post, on live television.
"Courage is needed not only on the battlefield but also in politics," Yachimovich said. "Gantz spoke beautifully, but also [spoke] unforgivable things during dangerous times in which the prime minister is embroiled in criminal lawsuit and crushing the democracy's needs. It is unfortunate that those who should bring a new spirit [to our government] showed no public courage tonight and kept his option to become a minister in Netanyahu's government. "
The New Right, under Education Minister Naftali Bennett and Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked's leadership, mocked the alliance by saying that "the last time Gantz and Ya'alon were together, it ended in 30 terror tunnels in the south."
"Both are good people, who led the perception of the weak draw. This is a perception of turning a blind eye to threats rather than a determined treatment of the problem," the statement by the new party said.
Former Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman spoke on the alliance, saying that "there were quite a few generals' parties and they all disappeared."
"It is not enough to be a general," Liberman continued. "You must have a comprehensive world view. [The party] rose leading up to the elections and will disappear before the next elections."
Yesh Atid leader Yair Lapid also reacted to the union of Gantz and Ya'alon, explaining that "these are good, ethical people and it is good that they are in politics."
"It is a natural alliance," he continued. "I wish them the best of luck."
Others within the Likud Party voiced their dismay with Benny Gantz's leadership and campaign decision-making, claiming that the prime minister-hopeful is hiding his true voice and goals in order to gain votes, undeserving according to his opposition, from the masses.
The Likud reacted on twitter to Gantz, referring to his statement that “No Israeli leader is a king,” by replying with "look who's talking about royalty, Gantz was not yet chosen and he already makes his followers wear t-shirts with his face imprinted."
The Likud's twitter account also added the statement that Netanyahu was not crowned king, but chosen by the civilians in democratic elections, claiming that "the public can tell between the real thing and a fake."
"I'm sorry for Benny Gantz, from a high-ranking commander, he has turned into another pale voice in the choir, 'Only Bibi,' which is a shame, it does not look like leadership, and Benny, a little advice - a little modesty has not harmed anyone yet," said former Mayor of Jerusalem Nir Barkat of the Likud Party.
"Benny, with all due respect, to be the defense minister in the Likud government, you did not need to make it a complicated operation to forming a party, hire image consultants, choosing backers and so on," said Member of Knesset Leah Fadida, also of the Likud Party. "
All you had to do was join the Likud. But in your life, at least now we are released from the nothingness that is coming out of your mouth."Uri Bollag and Gil Hoffman contributed to this report.
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