Gantz launches Prime Minister bid in festive event

The National Unity party launched its election campaign and published the party's list to the Knesset.

Benny Gantz speaking at the launch of the National Unity party's campaign. (photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)
Benny Gantz speaking at the launch of the National Unity party's campaign.
(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)

The National Unity party led by Defense Minister Benny Gantz and Justice Minister Gideon Sa’ar announced its Knesset list for the upcoming election and Gantz’s bid for prime minister at a festive event in Tel Aviv on Tuesday.

The list was as expected. The top three were Gantz, Sa’ar and former IDF chief of staff Gadi Eisenkot, a recent addition.

The rest of the list included members of the groups led by the top three: Aliyah and Integration Minister Pnina Tamano-Shata (Gantz), Education Minister Yifat Shasha-Biton (Sa’ar), Culture and Sport Minister Chili Tropper (Gantz), Construction and Housing Minister Ze’ev Elkin (Sa’ar), MK Michael Biton (Gantz), Deputy Religious Services Minister Matan Kahana (Eisenkot) and wrapping up the top ten were Science and Technology Orit Farkash-Hacohen (Gantz).

With the party polling at approximately 14 seats, a number of MKs will probably not make it into the Knesset, including recent addition Shirly Pinto (No. 23) and Alon Tal (No. 24).

Sa’ar spoke first at the event. He extolled Gantz and attacked opposition leader Benjamin Netanyahu.

 (L-R) Aliyah and Integration Minister Pnina Tamano-Shata, Justice Minister Gideon Sa'ar, Defense Minister and head of the National Unity party Benny Gantz pose for a photo at the campaign launch party for the National Unity party on September 6, 2022. (credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST) (L-R) Aliyah and Integration Minister Pnina Tamano-Shata, Justice Minister Gideon Sa'ar, Defense Minister and head of the National Unity party Benny Gantz pose for a photo at the campaign launch party for the National Unity party on September 6, 2022. (credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)

“A leader of leaders is a person confident enough in himself and in his leadership to surround himself with a strong team – a team that has the capacity to deal with the large and pressing national issues, Benny Gantz is a leader of leaders. He is the most fitting leader of Israel today."

Gideon Sa'ar, Minister of Justice

“A leader of leaders is a person confident enough in himself and in his leadership to surround himself with a strong team – a team that has the capacity to deal with the large and pressing national issues,” he said. “Benny Gantz is a leader of leaders. He is the most fitting leader of Israel today. Only Benny Gantz as the head of the National Unity Party can take Israel and the political system out of this crisis and unite Israel.”

“I hear Bibi [Netanyahu] promising stability... Bibi? Stability? What is the source of the political instability from the past four years? Bibi is the problem, not the solution,” Sa’ar said.

Netanyahu's response

In response, Netanyahu said: “Our country needs a stable government, otherwise we’ll find ourselves in a sixth election or a government that will fall in a few months. Gantz says he can build a government like that, and he’s trying to hide the fact that he and [Prime Minister Yair] Lapid cannot build a stable government, and all the polls prove that. They have 50 mandates with Meretz, Labor and [Yisrael Beytenu leader Avigdor] Liberman. They need [Ahmad] Tibi and Mansour Abbas, and even then, they don’t have 61. This is a government that won’t be established, and if it is, it will fall in a few months.

“Only a stable government led by Likud can bring stability to the State of Israel to stop the out-of-control prices, bring personal security to the people of Israel and prevent elections every year. Only the Likud will bring a stable government to Israel’s citizens for four good years,” Netanyahu said.