Israel Elections: 130 former IDF officers call on Gantz to quit race

"Benny, enough," the ad states. "You tried everything, now put the country first."

Gantz visits Eilat (photo credit: TAL OZ/DEFENSE MINISTRY/POLICE SPOKESPERSON'S UNIT)
Gantz visits Eilat
(photo credit: TAL OZ/DEFENSE MINISTRY/POLICE SPOKESPERSON'S UNIT)
The pressure on Defense Minister Benny Gantz to quit the March 23 election intensified on Monday when 130 former senior IDF officers published a letter calling for him to remove his Blue and White Party from the race.
The list of IDF officers includes many who were Gantz’s commanders, including former IDF chiefs of staff Ehud Barak and Dan Halutz. It also includes many officers who served directly under him in the army and worked with him closely.
“Benny, enough,” the ad states. “You tried everything, now put the country first.”
The ad praises Gantz for following his conscience in the past and calls upon him to display courage before it is too late.
“The time has come to make your final decision as a leader and leave this dangerous election, which will leave you below the electoral threshold and leave another party outside,” the officers wrote. “Do not permit votes to be wasted in the camp advocating change. Israel is wounded and has hit new depths. Israel will salute you.”
The organizers of the letter revealed that before publishing it, they attempted to persuade Gantz to quit the race quietly. They also postponed publishing it, they said, but decided not to wait any longer because they wanted to allow former Blue and White supporters to choose another party.
Most polls currently show Blue and White not passing the 3.25% electoral threshold. But sources in Blue and White said it nevertheless was important to try because without Blue and White in the next Knesset, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu could fire Blue and White ministers and take over the Justice Ministry until a new government is formed.
It is also possible that if no government is formed after the election, Gantz would become prime minister on November 21, based on the outgoing coalition agreement. This could not happen if Gantz is not reelected as an MK.
“Gantz is the only one who stood up to Netanyahu from inside and led the struggle to safeguard the legal system and the rule of law,” a Blue and White spokeswoman said.
Meanwhile, Tel Aviv Mayor Ron Huldai, who dropped out of the race three weeks ago, endorsed the Labor Party.