Benny Gantz’s last chance – a suggested inauguration speech

To say the least, more than a million voters who put their faith in the Blue and White party were devastatingly disappointed and are unlikely to show the same support in potential future elections.

ALTERNATE PRIME MINISTER Benny Gantz speaks to the media outside his home earlier this month. (photo credit: TOMER NEUBERG/FLASH90)
ALTERNATE PRIME MINISTER Benny Gantz speaks to the media outside his home earlier this month.
(photo credit: TOMER NEUBERG/FLASH90)
In December 2018, Benny Gantz stormed into the Israeli political landscape as a rising star and a potential savior, the only contender capable of facing PM Netanyahu. Since then, Gantz has managed to break most of his election promises, join forces with the Likud and the haredi (ultra-Orthodox) parties, and position himself as a rookie politician easily manipulated by Bibi and his power-hungry agents.
To say the least, more than a million voters who put their faith in the Blue and White party were devastatingly disappointed and are unlikely to show the same support in potential future elections. Under the assumption that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will be convicted of crimes of bribery, fraud and breach of trust, Gantz will become Israel’s 14th prime minister and have the opportunity to take the reins, present his own vision and lead the country to the future it deserves. In order to restore the citizens’ trust in the government, I prematurely wrote his inaugural speech from the Israeli liberal majority’s perspective, based on the political image he “sold” to those million plus voters. I hope he uses it.
“My brothers and sisters, Jewish and Arab, religious and secular, Mizrahi and Ashkenazi, dear citizens of Israel –
This moment, my inauguration as Israel’s 14th prime minister, is a defining one in our nation’s history. As we rise from the ruins of a one and a half-year-long election period, slowly recovering from a global pandemic and a historic financial crisis, when the public has lost faith in its leadership – I will use this platform to utter a new voice of authenticity and hope, targeting all parts of society and delivering a clear message to all of you, citizens of our beautiful country.
It is my obligation to start with an apology.
I apologize for disappointing you with passivity during my short term as a member of the government. I was too focused on taking the higher road.
I apologize for breaking the promises I made in the elections, when I joined hands with Bibi to form an emergency government during the Covid-19 outbreak. I was too naïve to anticipate the betrayal of the public.
I apologize for enabling a coalition that damaged the foundations of democracy that Israel was built upon, giving power to those who are intoxicated by it. I was too stately to save our country from those who wish to tyrannize it.
My heart, conscience, and intentions are pure, and yet – I failed you, and now we must overcome Israel’s worst socio-political crisis in history.
I entered politics two years ago because I felt the urge to step-up for my country when it most needed me. Everything I did, from the decision to run with “Hosen L’Israel” (Israel Resilience) Party until today, was for the sake of Israel and its citizens, and these years have taught me and developed my understanding of the world more than any other period in my life. I am a Zionist and a servant of my country, I have always been, and I was ingenuous to trust and partner with Benjamin Netanyahu, a talented, ambitious, yet morally corrupt, leader.
Bibi’s 14-year term has officially ended, and I still thank him for all he has done for our country. I respect him for his years in the IDF, as a Knesset member, minister, and prime minister. That being said, his toxic control methods and the hatred and division he inflamed in our society posed the biggest internal threat in our country’s history, and will unfortunately always be part of his legacy. Those days are finally over – we will take it from here.
Israel is ready for the next step in its evolution, and for a long-term oriented leadership. we are no longer Holocaust-surviving refugees who ask for worldwide assistance and recognition, we are a force among nations, and we should start thinking, planning and acting as one.
STARTING TODAY, I will be leading Israel into the future, until the people decide it is time for me to step down. As a matter of fact, I hereby declare that my term of office shall be limited to eight years, after which I will resign and enable a new leader to take the reins and lead our country with a fresh mentality. This declaration will serve as the primary gust in the wind of change that will revitalize us, by celebrating transparency, humility, and authenticity and eliminating corruption, disunity and racism.
In the next few years, I will navigate Israel using a new map. The language will be inclusive and respectful, appointed public leaders will serve as role models, and our government’s state of mind will be focused on the most important Jewish mitzvah – tikkun olam  (repairing the world). As I see it, the meaning of life, and as a result – our job in this world – is to alleviate unhappiness, fix what is wrong, and help others find meaning, serenity and fulfillment. This will be our compass in the upcoming years, as we strive to solve our complex political conflicts with our neighbors, to improve our health and education systems, to strengthen our national unity and pride, and to promote equality and acceptance of minorities and all people in our diverse society. I will never have all the answers myself, but I will appoint the best professionals and experts from every field to form a strong government that will work hard to achieve these goals.
Not all of you voted for me. Some of you were brainwashed by cruel polarizing terminologies, some just do not believe that I could master the game of politics. To all of you worried citizens who question my political experience, I say – you are right. I am no ordinary politician, and I have yet to be corrupted by the cynical world of politics. I will lead our country with honesty and transparency, nurture and promote kindness and openness, fight corruption and discrimination of all kinds. I will always do my best, and I can assure you – nothing is going to be easy.
Ladies and gentlemen, the near future will bring us closer together. From a society divided by ethnicities, sectors, and religions, we will unite to become a strong caring nation for all Israelis. Our government’s best minds will strategize a plan to rebuild our systems of education, industry, healthcare, law, infrastructure and welfare, and we will continue to grow as a vital force among the world’s nations. Only then, when we continue to prosper, our hostile neighbors will understand that peace is the only option.
Leo Tolstoy, a revolutionary Russian novelist and the author of War and Peace, wrote: “Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself.”
Citizens of Israel, it is time for us to be the change we want to see in our country and in this world. I ask you today – trust the process, stay involved and ask questions, love your neighbor and never lose faith. Our unity will keep us strong; our determination will move us forward. Thank you for believing in me.
“Hashem will give courage to his people, Hashem will bless his people with peace.”
The writer is an Israeli educator and peace enthusiast, researcher of the connection between the human psychology, public consciousness and politics in Israel.