Gantz reveals first picks: TV anchor, social activist, ex-Netanyahu spokesman

Benny Gantz and Moshe Ya'alon revealed the first picks for their joint-list party.

Benny Gantz (R) and Moshe Ya'alon (L) at a event in Tel Aviv, January 29th, 2019 (photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)
Benny Gantz (R) and Moshe Ya'alon (L) at a event in Tel Aviv, January 29th, 2019
A day after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud announced its slate of candidates, the Israel Resilience and Telem parties of former IDF chiefs of staff Benny Gantz and Moshe Ya’alon, respectively, purposely announced seven of the candidates who will be running on their joint list in the April 9 election.
Israel Resilience party video - seven new candidates revealed
As has been  rumored for weeks, the list includes US citizen and educator Chili Tropper, former Yeroham mayor Michael Biton, former anchorwoman Miki Haimovich, former cabinet-secretary Zvi Hauser, and Yoaz Hendel.
The only new names announced were former Electricity Authority chairwoman Orit Farkash-Hacohen and former Jerusalem city councilwoman Meirav Cohen.
“Netanyahu’s 10-year reign will end when met with the best team in Israel,” Gantz and Ya’alon said Thursday night.
The Likud received a boost from Tuesday’s party primary, according to two polls on Thursday, a week after Gantz proved in polls to be a serious threat to his leadership.
A Panels Research poll taken for Walla showed Likud jumping to 34 seats from 29 in one week. A survey taken for Channel 13 by pollster Camil Fuchs predicted Likud rising to 32 seats from 30 last week.
Both polls, along with another one Wednesday night by Smith Research, found Labor falling to five seats, the worst result in an election or a poll in the storied history of the party. Labor hopes to have a similar boost from its primary on Monday.
The Channel 13 poll found that if Gantz’s Israel Resilience and Yair Lapid’s Yesh Atid ran together, the list would win 36 seats, compared to 32 for Likud.
Gantz’s party maintained its strength from last week in both polls. Asked who they preferred to see as prime minister between Netanyahu and Gantz, 48% said Netanyahu, 35% Gantz and 17% did not know.
When Netanyahu was pitted against former Likud minister Gideon Sa’ar, 40% preferred Netanyahu and 39% Sa’ar. But among Likudniks, 84% preferred Netanyahu and just 11% Sa’ar.
The Channel 13 poll predicted that MK Orly Levy-Abecassis’s Gesher Party and MK Tzipi Livni’s Hatnua would not cross the 3.25% electoral threshold.
Gantz came under fire on Thursday from Levy-Abecassis, who told supporters in a closed-door parlor meeting that she would run alone in the April 9 election. She said her sixth-grade son could draft the list of principles that he believes in better than Gantz did in his first political speech last week.
Levy-Abecassis also criticized Netanyahu, who she said would not be able to function as a prime minister under indictment “even if he was Superman.” She revealed that she has been sought after to run together with many parties, from Meretz, on what she called the “Left-Left,” to the New Right, on what she called the “Right-Right.”
KAN revealed on Thursday that Lapid has met twice lately with the late Shas mentor Rabbi Ovadia Yosef’s daughter Adina Bar-Shalom, who currently tops a list called Achi Israeli. Yosef was very critical of Lapid’s father, the late Shinui Party leader Yosef (Tommy) Lapid.
Yesh Atid announced a new candidate at an event in Tel Aviv Thursday night: hi-tech attorney Idan Roll, who heads the party’s campaign in the gay community and is the partner of popular singer Harel Skaat.
Lapid said at the event that it bothered him that in 2019 there are still people bothered by how two people love each other.