Netanyahu calls on Gantz to fire adviser who compared Trump to Hitler

Accuses Blue and White leader of stuttering after apologizing to stutterers

On their way to Washington: Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Blue and White party leader Benny Gantz (photo credit: REUTERS)
On their way to Washington: Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Blue and White party leader Benny Gantz
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called upon Blue and White leader Benny Gantz at a Likud rally in Ma'ale Adumim on Saturday night to immediately fire adviser Ronen Tzur and distance himself from former adviser Joel Benenson for past statements comparing US President Donald Trump to Adolf Hitler.
Tzur, who is a personal adviser to Gantz, tweeted in March 2016 “The book of the 21st century: Mein Trumpf” and called the president “Donald Adolf Trump.”
Tzur apologized when his tweet was highlighted two weeks ago, calling Trump "the bravest president of the US and the most significant one for Israel’s security in latest generations" and saying that he saluted him.
Benenson, who advised past Blue and White's September campaign but not the current one, tweeted on Oct. 28, 2018: “he would have learned Hitler’s demonizing term for the press: ‘lugenpresse.’ Trump’s translation is ‘Fake News." Berenson's tweet was revealed last week by Jewish News syndicate reporter Ariel Ben Solomon.
Netanyahu repeatedly bashed Gantz in his speech, saying over and over again that a vote for Gantz was a vote for Joint List faction chairman Ahmad Tibi. Netanyahu also criticized Gantz for refusing to condemn former prime minister Ehud Olmert for saying he would meet with Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas in New York to jointly condemn Trump's Middle East peace plan.
"This is not how a leader acts," Netanyahu said. "I tell you, Benny Gantz, disconnect from Olmert. Condemn him. Why are you stuttering here?"
Netanyahu apologized on January 22 for offending people who stutter when he made fun of Gantz the day before at the Likud’s opening campaign rally at the Jerusalem International Convention Center. Netanyahu played a video at the Jerusalem rally of Gantz stuttering when talking about his accomplishments: “Before, it was us or them, but now, it’s us or the-e-e-em,” Netanyahu said mockingly.
After AMBI – Israeli Stuttering Association protested, Netanyahu said his words were merely intended to show that Gantz lacks accomplishments and had nothing to offer the citizens of Israel. He blamed the media for portraying what he said as offensive.
“Unlike how it was presented in the press, my words, of course, did not relate to people of any handicap, and if anyone was offended by what I said, I am very sorry,” Netanyahu wrote on Twitter.
Gantz criticized Netanyahu on Twitter on Friday, claiming he has lost control over the security situation.
“The security situation over the last few days only serves to emphasize what everyone is already feeling: Netanyahu is losing control and acting irresponsibly,” Gantz said. “He has turned the cabinet into a circus, he replaces defense ministers like they’re socks and uses our foreign policy for his political campaign,” he added. “Unlike him, I will manage Israel’s security policy in a responsible manner and bring back Israel’s deterrence factor.”
Gantz promised on Twitter on Saturday night to reveal on Sunday morning what he called “Case 5000,” referring to 5000 Israelis who die annually unnecessarily because of problems with the health system.
Omri Ron contributed to this report.