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Everyones blue eyed boy: Reflections on the elections

Anyone who spoke with Benny Gantz the next day made his first political statement,
I have the impression that the man is in a low mood. The 20th head of IDF staff and the most intriguing candidate in Israel's 2019 elections had hoped for a different outcome with the launch of his political campaign.

The 49 seconds outside his home have been meticulously planned, even a few days in advance, but their damage has far exceeded their value. To understand why, first we must understand the dilemma of Gantz in recent months: should he turn to the right – to the voters of Likud and Kulanu, or to the left – to the voters of Yesh Atid and the Zionist Union?

Benny Gantz with the Druse protesters outside his home (Photo: Motti Kimchi)

Benny Gantz with the Druse protesters outside his home

In normal elections, the answer would be clear: it should turn right with all its strength. In this way, Gantz could either destroy the right wing, or conquer opposition voters who saw him as the next Israeli prime minister. Surely this would work for 6 "5 former blue eyed military leader.

But these are not normal elections. There are a host of aspiring prime ministers – the leader Yesh Atid Yair Lapid, the leader Hatnuah Tzipi Livni, the head of the Labor Party Avi Gabbay, the leader Gesher Orly Levy-Abekasis and the chair Telem Moshe Ya & # 39; alon – all in competition for the same votes. Firstly, Gantz must struggle to build his own base, because if he breaks just looking for success, he could end up losing on both sides of the spectrum.

The long silence of Gantz indicated a strong desire to maintain its momentum and maintain relatively high levels of support while avoiding political statements that could alienate any part of the public. But with hindsight, the power and duration of Gantz's radio silence went too far – the audience's expectations exploded and Gantz lost its momentum.

From what we can gather from the Israel Resilience Party,
Gantz decided to build his base first, and seems to be on the left. So far he has contacted Alon Schuster, the head of the regional council Sha & # 39; ar HaNegev and a former member of the Zionist Union; Chemi Peres, the son of the late president and Labor Shimon Peres; Asaf Zamir, the deputy mayor of Tel Aviv who has left-wing views; and Yeruham's head of regional council, Michael Biton, and the Zionist religious activist Chili Trooper, both former members of Labor.

Gantz's statement on the change of the nation state law
it was supposed to be the launch of his political campaign. It is clear what he wanted: a photo op with Druze leaders, leading one of the most popular communities in Israel. So he said some things about the importance of the community and showed a willingness to support it. But his choice of words was weak and ambiguous: it is not clear whether he wants to change the law or legislate a new one.

Israelis protesting against the national state law (Photo: AFP)

Israelis protesting against the national state law

More problematic were the responses to the Gantz statement: Gabbay, Livni, Lapid and even Meretz leader Tamar Zandberg welcomed the Gantz declaration. Some were eager to secure a place on his Knesset list, while others were eager to remind everyone that they too were opposed to the controversial law. In any case, instead of overcoming the gap between the right and the left, Gantz's words placed it exactly to the left of the political map.

"Israel Before All", the new slogan of Gantz, as well as the 20-second video he published last week, serves as an introduction to his next dilemma: should he establish a coalition with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu? Gabbay is trying to convince him otherwise as Likud members dissect his every word in an attempt to label him as a casualty. In short, it is a sacred mess.

Gantz, meanwhile, can take comfort from the levels of interest he has received. The election campaign of 2019 does not concern the formation of minds, but the infiltration of them. When Gabbay publicly shamed Livni,
polls showed that he could win five Knesset seats alone. Two weeks later, it was a story. Likewise, Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon of Kulanu and MK Levy-Abekasis of Gesher lost momentum at the polls.

Until further notice, there is nothing wrong with advertising in this election race.

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