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Gantz Taps Top Obama Strategist for Blue and White Campaign



Blue and White party leader Benny Gantz has invited an Obama adviser onto his campaign. (Flash90/Tomer Neuberg)

Senior Blue and White sources are quoted as downplaying the hiring of Benenson, saying that bringing in American experts to work in an Israeli campaign is “not dramatic.”

Blue and White leader Benny Gantz has reportedly hired the services of a top strategist for Barack Obama’s 2008 and 2012 successful presidential campaigns.

Joel Benenson will join Gantz’s team ahead of Israel’s September 17 election.

Senior Blue and White sources in Maariv downplayed the hire, saying that bringing in American experts to work on an Israeli campaign is “not dramatic.”

Disclosure of the beefed-up effort by Gantz and his people to unseat Netanyahu comes on the heels of Ehud Barak’s entry into the Knesset race. The former prime minister has been forceful in delivering professionally-packaged statements about the need to topple the incumbent leader.

Gantz faced criticism after his failure to unseat Netanyahu in April. Recently, his decision-making process has come under fire.

While periodically attacking Netanyahu, Gantz devoted much of his effort before the April election to stressing the need to bring unity to the country and downplaying differences between the right and left of the political spectrum.

Netanyahu’s Likud party exploited stammering remarks made by Gantz on television to portray him as an inferior competitor to the oratorically-skilled Netanyahu.

In the April ballot, Likud and Blue and White each won 35 seats in the 120-seat Knesset.

Barak has been speaking of joining forces with the Labor Party as a way of strengthening a center-left bloc which would give Blue and White a greater chance of forming a governing majority in parliament.

The right-wing parties have been stronger in recent years. Netanyahu seemed to be on the verge of forming a government after the April election, but after former defense minister Avigdor Liberman refused to bring his party into the Netanyahu coalition, the prime minister lacked a majority and the Knesset voted to dissolve itself and call for new elections.


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