Netanyahu: ‘Benny Gantz, Shame on You’

Netanyahu, Gantz campaign posters. Photo Credit: Flash 90

PM to Gantz: ‘You were proud that you endangered Golani soldiers for Palestinians; aren’t you ashamed to make politics out of security?’

By: Mordechai Sones

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reacted strongly to the claim by Blue and White Chairman Benny Gantz, according to which Netanyahu wanted to go on a military operation in Gaza to deliberately postpone the Knesset elections.

“Benny Gantz, aren’t you ashamed of making politics out of security?” Netanyahu asked. “You blame me for strictly guarding the lives of our soldiers and citizens, while you who boasted in Protective Edge that you risked Golani soldiers for Palestinians?

“We prepared for every scenario, including the possibility that the Islamic Jihad and Hamas would disrupt the elections with rocket fire on our cities and we prepared a harsh response, but I will choose the time to enter the campaign we prepared at the right time and not one minute before. Benny Gantz, shame on you,” he added.

Blue and White Chairman Benny Gantz attacked Prime Minister Netanyahu following the report that the 22nd Knesset elections could have been postponed due to a military operation planned in Gaza last week.

“Netanyahu wiped out ambiguity for political needs. Now he lost it and wanted to drag us to war to postpone the elections,” Gantz said. “This is a script that fits a House of Cards and not the State of Israel. Tomorrow we’re going to vote and we will put an end to it.”

Haaretz reported that Meir Ben Shabat, the chief of the NSC, met last Wednesday with the chairman of the Central Election Commission and told him that Israel intended to embark on a military operation that could lead to postponing the elections.

Gantz apologized in a Knesset interview at noon on Monday for an announcement that implicitly excluded haredim from legitimate discourse while comparing voting percentages in Tel Aviv and Bnei Brak.

The headline read, “Anyone who wants a secular unity government must go out and vote”, further stating that the voting percentage in Tel Aviv is 63 percent versus 77 percent in Bnei Brak.

“We really didn’t mean to hurt,” said Gantz, admitting to seeing the poster that sparked the storm, “It didn’t make me jump, it showed me statistics.

“I realized in retrospect that it hurt people and I’m sorry, that’s not the intention. The haredim should vote, they should vote according to their beliefs,” Gantz apologized.

Nonetheless, Gantz added a parting shot to the haredi voters, “They once taught me that they have freedom of vote but no freedom of choice, so they should do it how they know and I call everyone, up to 100 percent–not up to 120 percent–to vote.” (INN)