Gantz Trojan Horse threatens Israel as the Jewish National Home

March 31, 2020 by David Singer
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Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has paid a high price for the National Unity Government being forged with Benny Gantz – by agreeing to Gantz becoming Israel’s Prime Minister in 18 months’ time without going to an election.

Netanyahu had run out of time to explore other options – having had that decision foisted on him by two extraordinary High Court of Justice cases ordering the Knesset Speaker – Yuli Edelstein – to convene the Knesset contrary to the Knesset’s own rules and procedures. Compliance by Edelstein would have unleashed a train of events that would have caused havoc and instability at a time when unity was sorely needed. Edelstein resigned.

It is indeed a miracle that Netanyahu and Gantz rescued Israel from this rapidly escalating political and constitutional crisis at the same time as Israel is coping with the ravages of Covid-19.

Gantz’s courage in dumping his partners in Blue and White – Yair Lapid and Moshe Ya’alon – when any hope of averting the crisis seemed lost and just as the doors of the Knesset were shortly to open – was praised by the Right but condemned by Lapid and Ya’alon in bitter and derogatory terms.

Gantz’s new found ally – Yisrael Beiteinu’s Avigdor Liberman – was left high and dry – ruing his stupidity at having missed three opportunities in the last 12 months to be in Government with Netanyahu – making demands he absolutely refused to compromise on during negotiations with Netanyahu. Liberman was relegated to the Opposition benches with his six colleagues – a kingmaker no more.

Forgiven was the havoc caused when Gantz started to flirt with Joint List – the bloc comprising 15 members from the four Arab political parties – who endorsed Gantz to form the next Government – persuading Israeli President Reuven Rivlin to regrettably give Gantz first try to do so.

Joint List’s objectives include dismantling Israel as the Jewish National Home.

Joint List Chairman – Ahmad Tibi had openly articulated this goal to Rivlin in September 2019:

“Some people think we are the backyard of the State of Israel, we are not a backyard, we are not present absentees, we are not guests, we are the owners of this land. Not residents of this country, we did not immigrate here, we were born here, we are a native population, and this native population sent us to make a change.”

Gantz’s decision to embrace Joint List accorded with his first public statement after forming the Resilience Party in December 2018. Druze demonstrators protesting the 2016 Nation-State Law defining Israel as the nation-state of the Jewish people and ending Arabic as an official language of Israel – were told by Gantz:

“We have a blood alliance, but just as importantly, we have a life alliance. We need to make sure that we build this partnership and this alliance together, as it should be. I will do all in my power to work to amend the legislation, so it will give expression to this bond, the deep bond that cannot be severed—not just in battle, but also in life; not just in difficulties, but also in good times. We’ll do this together.”

Gantz is perfectly entitled to propound the idea that Israel should become the state of all its citizens – no longer the Jewish National Home reconstituted by the League of Nations 1922 Mandate for Palestine and article 80 of the United Nations Charter.

But to do so as Prime Minister – without receiving any electoral mandate to pursue that highly-controversial policy – is another thing.

The Gantz Trojan Horse is knocking at the Prime Minister’s door – and Netanyahu has let him in.

David Singer is a Sydney lawyer and foundation member of the International Analysts Network

Author’s note: The cartoon – commissioned exclusively for this article—is by Yaakov Kirschen aka “Dry Bones”- one of Israel’s foremost political and social commentators –  whose cartoons have graced the columns of Israeli and international media publications for decades. His cartoons can be viewed at Drybonesblog

 

Comments

15 Responses to “Gantz Trojan Horse threatens Israel as the Jewish National Home”
  1. Ron Burdo says:

    Abolishing Israel’s self definition as a Jewish nation state is a realistic option, which should be taken into account by all community leaders in the Jewish diaspora.

    Don’t put all your eggs in the Israeli basket.

    • DAVID SINGER says:

      The League of Nations Mandate for Palestine expressly granted the Jewish people the right to reconstitute the ancient and biblical Jewish National Home in Palestine. Generations of Jews have died and been maimed and traumitised in defence of this ideal. That’s where all the eggs are. I find it hard to fathom how any community leaders in the Jewish diaspora could think otherwise.

  2. Leon Poddebsky says:

    By the way, although Arabic has always been widely used in public life in Israel, it has never been an official language of the state.
    The official language is, and has always been, Hebrew.

  3. Steve Lieblich says:

    You’ve expressed a real concern, However, of more urgent concern, is whether the new Unity Government will assert the Jewish People’s sovereignty over parts of Judea and Samaria, as anticipated by the US plan. Both Bibi and Gantz supported the plan, but Bibi said he would move unilaterally in the absence of a acceptance by the Arabs. Gantz said he would ONLY act with the acceptance of the Arabs…. which of those will it be???

    • DAVID SINGER says:

      Spot on Steve … except Gantz added another rider: the international community also needed to accept – which in effect means never.

      It seems impossible to believe that Netanyahu would forego this opportunity offered by the Trump Plan to restore Jewish sovereignty in Judea and Samaria after 3000 years and to hopefully end the reconstitution of the Jewish National Home which began with the League of Nations Mandate for Palestine in 1922 and was preserved by article 80 of the UN Charter

  4. Eion Isaac says:

    Sabotaging Unity in a Reprehensible Manner .

  5. michael kuttner says:

    Don’t worry, David. Five minutes is a long time in Israeli politics and eighteen months is an eternity. There will be plenty of dramas during this time. I wouldn’t hold your breath just yet about Gantz becoming PM.

    • Paul Winter says:

      Exactly as you say Michael. Within 18 month, Netanyahu’s indictment charades (and possible appeals) will have finished, and in that time Gantz will have had ample opportunity to expose his ineptitude.

      I am however amazed that any IDF general who compares the IDF to the Nazis, as Gantz did on Holocaust Memorial Day in 2016, would have the chutzpah to stand as a Jewish candidate for the Knesset.

      • DAVID SINGER says:

        Michael:
        You might be right .. and you might be wrong. I am just saying Netanyahu needs to find out now so there is no doubt about Gantz’s position in the event he becomes Israel’s next – and unelected – Prime Minister

      • Ron Burdo says:

        It was not Gantz, it was the deputy Chief of Staff, general Yair Golan(now in Meretz).

    • DAVID SINGER says:

      Michael:
      You might be right .. and you might be wrong. I am just saying Netanyahu needs to find out now so there is no doubt about Gantz’s position in the event he becomes Israel’s next – and unelected – Prime Minister

  6. Eion Isaac says:

    This opinion is retrograde because Gantz as PM will be under Likud and the Haredim 36 plus 16 plus the Resilience 15 equals 69 who can withdraw support but likely will be rewarded for loyalty to the Jewish State by Unity .
    So he can stop the unnecessary annexation when the Security Control is enough .
    So likely Netanyahu and many in Likud are bluffing re annexation .
    The Nation State Law was unnecessary ideological hubris and arrogance and counterproductive .

    • DAVID SINGER says:

      I am afraid I canot understand the tenor of your reply which is meaningless to me. If you can be a little clearer I will respond.

      In the meantime – your use of the word “annexation” is wrong. Israel is set to restore Jewish sovereignty after 3000 years in Judea and Samaria in an area designated by the Mandate for Palestine within which the Jewish National Home could be reconstituted. A mouthful – but correct and accurate. Adopting the language of Jew-haters is not recommended.

      The Nation State Law has been passed – whether you like it or not. Gantz wants to amend it. Netanyahu needs to find out how and why – now – before he signs up to any national unity government with Gantz.

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