Photo Credit: YouTube screenshot
Defense Minister Benny Gantz interviewed by The Atlantic editor Jeffrey Goldberg at the Aspen Security Forum, July 21, 2022.

Defense Minister Benny Gantz on Thursday told The Atlantic editor Jeffrey Goldberg at the Aspen Security Forum that he is “Happy that I blocked the threat of annexation of Judea and Samaria.” Or, as Jerusalem Post Deputy Managing Editor Tova Lazaroff quipped: “Because the Right wasn’t angry enough with him.”


Gantz said that unfortunate line in the context of applying the success of the Abraham Accords to the PA issue when he reiterated: “I believe that we can leverage the Abraham Accords and ties with regional partners to strengthen the Palestinian Authority and promote confidence-building measures. From a Jewish, Zionist, and democratic perspective, I would like to see a better future between us and the Palestinians and that includes separating from the Palestinians.”

So, if you don’t want a Palestinian state on the border of Kfar Sabba, you shouldn’t vote Blue & White.

Gantz also said: “The Abraham Accords enables us to expand our relations [with regional partners] in security aspects, in business to business [frameworks], organizations to organizations, and people to people. And of course, we are creating a regional architecture for defense.”

On US-Israel relations, the defense minister said: “Israel was moved from EUCOM to CENTCOM – and we use it as a strategic umbrella. Since the signing of the accords, there have been hundreds of meetings and discussions with regional partners, and Israel has participated in at least 10 multinational exercises with regional partners. I am very happy that the US has led this and that the region’s leaders have realized and taken this opportunity. We are creating a better Middle East.”

Good for him, although most of those Arab states are not very vocal about the benefits of security cooperation with Israel, and are busy trying to get guarantees of non-aggression from the Iranians.

Gantz said that “Iran is first a global challenge, then a regional challenge, and only lastly it is a threat to the State of Israel. We can see it everywhere around the world – the Iranian impact in Venezuela, Algeria, Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, and Yemen. The Saudis and the Emiratis also suffer from Iranian attacks, Iran does not only pose a threat to the State of Israel.”

True, but Iran focuses most of its terror machine on the Jewish State, and will not give up its efforts to arm Hezbollah, Hamas, and its Syrian proxy militias. They do support anti-Saudi militias in Yemen, but Israel is still the brunt of their hatred. They want to dominate Saudi Arabia and the Gulf states; they want to annihilate Israel.

“The countries of the region understand that Israel is here to stay and that Israel is not a burden but rather an asset,” Gantz told Goldberg. “Our excellent relations with the US can be used as a bridge. Israel does not threaten the countries of the region, while Iran does. We can see Iran’s malign activity in the region without a nuclear canopy, without nuclear deterrence. Imagine what they would do with it. And that’s why we cannot let Iran become a nuclear [state].”

“At the same time, I do not know of another country that has another country, in this case, Iran, threatening its existence and building the means to do so,” Gantz said. “The government and leadership of Israel have a historic responsibility to build our capabilities and to prevent Iran from becoming nuclear.”

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