Blue and White leader Benny Gantz fired the strategist of his campaign, Israel Bachar, on Friday after a leaked conversation between Bachar and a rabbi in which he criticized Gantz was broadcast on Channel 12.
In the taped conversation, Bachar said that Gantz would not have the courage to attack Iran if necessary, saying he is therefore a "danger to the people of Israel."
A taped conversation of Blue and White MK Omer Yankelevich was also revealed, in which she allegedly called Gantz "weak and stupid."
In a statement released Friday, Gantz said that an initial investigation revealed that Bachar was caught in a trap that took advantage of him personally, using "unacceptable means and trickery." Gantz said the manipulative involvement of political officials would be revealed soon.
It was later revealed on Friday that the rabbi who taped Bachar was Guy Habura, who toured a Sephardi yeshiva in Tel Aviv with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday. Habura, who recorded Bachar at his home in Modi’in, heads an organization that helps children with cancer, and the strategist was in touch with him on a personal matter.
Habura is a close friend of Netanyahu's lawyer, Amit Hadad. The Likud denied allegations from Blue and White that Netanyahu was given the two and a half hour tape and leaked it.
"What will Netanyahu do to save himself from his trial?" Blue and White asked in a tweet. "He used a private conversation with a rabbi for his own personal benefit. This is awful. Bibi, you are poisoning the country."
Blue and White accused Netanyahu of using Mafia tactics.
Gantz said that while he decided to end Bachar's work on the campaign, Yankelevich will remain on the party's list for Knesset, because she issued a strong denial regarding making the comments.
Netanyahu responded that, "Even those closest to Gantz realize that he cannot be prime minister, and he is a danger to Israel's security." The prime minister said in a Facebook Live post on Friday afternoon that what Bachar said in the taped conversation was especially important, because he had been the adviser who founded Blue and White and built Gantz’s image.
The Likud responded: "Gantz fired his closest adviser for telling the truth. Gantz will be a dangerous prime minister to Israel. We must not gamble our security and let Gantz form a dangerous government with [Joint List faction head] Ahmad Tibi."