Executive Intelligence Review


Three Former Israeli Military Chiefs of Staff Unite against Netanyahu in April Elections

Jan. 30 (EIRNS)—Three former Chiefs of the General Staff of the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) are about to unite to unseat Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in the general elections on April 9. When the slate is fully formed, it will be led by Gen. Benny Gantz (ret.), who was Chief of Staff from 2011-2015, and today enjoys strong popular support, with one poll by Israel’s Reshet Channel 13 News putting Gantz and Netanyahu at 42% each.

Gantz already has an election alliance with Gen. Moshe Ya’alon (ret.), who was Chief of State, 2002-2005, and Defense Minister, 2013-2016.

Gantz held his first electoral rally in Tel Aviv on Jan. 28, in which he roundly denounced Netanyahu, comparing him to France’s King Louis XVI, who was beheaded in the French Revolution. Gantz declared:

“The current regime encourages incitement, subversion and hatred. The basic values of Israeli statehood have been converted into the mannerisms of a French royal house....

“It does not see the working man and the working woman. It does not see families moaning under the cost of living and the young people who cannot buy an apartment.

“There was already a king who said: ‘The state is me.’ But no. Not here...

“No Israeli leader is a king. The state is not me. The state is you. The state is actually us. The state is all of us.

“The government we will form will be a national government and not a monarchy.”

Ya’alon attended the rally, where he announced that his Telem Party (Tnua Leumit Mamlachtit, or National Statesmanlike Movement) had formed an electoral alliance with Gantz’s Israel Resilience Party (Hosen Yisrael in Hebrew).

While demanding an end to corruption and incitement, and for uniting all sectors of the Israeli population—left and right, Jewish and Arab, and secular and religious—it is not fully clear what their policy on reopening the peace process will be.

The two former military leaders have invited a third, Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi (ret.), who was IDF Chief of Staff in 2007-2011, to join their alliance. Ashkenazi is said to be considering entering politics, but has yet to make a decision.