Benny Gantz: Throw away NIS 3 billion, destroy Israeli society or elect unity gov't

Benny Gantz, leader of the National Unity Party and the sitting defense minister, was interviewed by Yaakov Katz ahead of the Israeli election.

 Minister of Defense Benny Gantz at the opening ceremony of the Odem program, a national groundbreaking program for the development of technological leadership in young high school students is part of the elite Talpiot program, in the northern town of Katzrin, on September 21, 2022.  (photo credit: MICHAEL GILADI/FLASH90)
Minister of Defense Benny Gantz at the opening ceremony of the Odem program, a national groundbreaking program for the development of technological leadership in young high school students is part of the elite Talpiot program, in the northern town of Katzrin, on September 21, 2022.
(photo credit: MICHAEL GILADI/FLASH90)

Israelis have three options in the upcoming election, according to Defense Minister Benny Gantz: Go through endless and costly election cycles, elect a radical government that will turn Israel into a religious state, or elect a unity government consisting of everyone from Ra'am to the haredi factions.

"If you put aside the radical Right and Hadash-Ta'al, you end with around 72 mandates," the defense minister explained in an interview given to The Jerusalem Post editor-in-chief Yaakov Katz.

One option, he said, is the formation of a "radical, Netanyahu-led government that will change ways we understand Israeli society in all aspects and slowly become a religious state."

Another is a continuation of the political crisis and election cycles, he said, with Israel "throwing away NIS 3 Billion every time."

The third, he added, is a unity government that consists of everyone from MK Mansour Abbas' Ra'am faction to the ultra-Orthodox factions Shas and United Torah Judaism.

 Defense Minister Benny Gantz addresses EU member-state Ambassadors in Israel, October 19, 2022 (credit: ARIEL HERMONI/DEFENSE MINISTRY) Defense Minister Benny Gantz addresses EU member-state Ambassadors in Israel, October 19, 2022 (credit: ARIEL HERMONI/DEFENSE MINISTRY)

During the interview, Gantz also refuted claims that his appointment of Herzi Halevi as the IDF's new chief of staff is political.

"If you are saying we need to wait for the next government to walk in, it means you think that assigning a chief is a political decision; it is not. It happens every four years," Gantz explained.

"I have no idea what Herzi's political leanings are."

This is a developing story.