Ashkenazi reportedly dowry for Gantz-Lapid marriage

Gabi Ashkenazi at Herzliya Conference 311 (photo credit: Uri Porat)
Gabi Ashkenazi at Herzliya Conference 311
(photo credit: Uri Porat)
Former IDF chief of staff Gabi Ashkenazi has decided not to accept offers from Yesh Atid or fellow former IDF chief of staff Benny Gantz’s Israel Resilience Party unless the two parties run together, multiple media outlets reported over the weekend.
Yesh Atid leader Yair Lapid and Gantz have both been wooing Ashkenazi, who is seen as the top political recruit still available. But Ashkenazi’s associates have said he would only enter politics if he can make a significant impact on Israel’s future.
Making himself the dowry for a political marriage between Gantz and Lapid would fit with that goal. Ashkenazi has made clear that he would not care where he is placed on a list.
Gantz is reportedly close to reaching an agreement with another former IDF chief of staff, Moshe Ya’alon, who has formed a party called Telem, which in an English post on Facebook over the weekend Ya’alon called “The National Statesmanlike Movement.”
Having three former IDF chiefs of staff on his list would allow Gantz to present himself as an alternative to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on security issues.
Channel 13 rreported over the weekend that an internal poll conducted for Gantz revealed that merging with Yesh Atid would weaken the centrist bloc and make it harder to bring about a political upheaval. The leaking of the poll may have been an attempt by Gantz to lower Lapid’s asking price.
KAN news reported that Gantz has no interest in running together with either Labor or MK Tzipi Livni’s Hatnua Party. Lapid has also rejected both parties, calling them both left-wing.
The Makor Rishon 
newspaper reported over the weekend that Livni was trying to draft a list of top women. According to the report, Livni wants Hatnua to run together with the Gesher Party of MK Orly Levy-Abecassis and the Achi Israeli party, whose top candidate is Haredi Women’s College founder Adina Bar-Shalom, the daughter of former Shas mentor Rabbi Ovadia Yosef.
Gantz faced criticism on Saturday night from the head of the New Right Party, Education Minister Naftali Bennett, in an interview with Channel 12’s
 Meet the Press program.
“During the three weeks after I presented [to the Security Cabinet] a plan to destroy the terror tunnels from Gaza, Benny Gantz – who is a good man but with flawed perception – constantly tried to prevent, to drag feet, to stop an operation to go in and destroy the tunnels,” Bennett said.
He noted that the State Comptroller’s report upheld this version of events. He added, “If we had listened to him, we wouldn’t have gone in and destroyed 30 tunnels, and today the residents of the South would be greatly threatened.”
“Benny Gantz is a good man, but his attitude is one of “playing for a tie,” Bennett said. “I stress this is an attitude that endangers the State of Israel.
We need to overcome our enemies decisively, not just forage for a way to end the day with quiet. I also don’t love to fight, but against a determined enemy one must overcome and not look for incentives to retreat.”
Israel Resilience responded by attacking Bennett for being part of a government that facilitates the giving of millions of dollars of Qatari money to Hamas.
“Those who surrender and hand out suitcases filled with cash to Hamas would be better off keeping quiet,” Gantz’s party said.