Photo Credit: Marc Israel Sellem/POOL
President Joe Biden with then-Defense Minister Benny Gantz, in Tel Aviv, July 13, 2022.

According to Army Radio’s political reporter Yuval Segev, emissaries on behalf of Minister Benny Gantz recently contacted Likud ministers and MKs in an attempt to push the replacement of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in the current Knesset. The senior Likud members were told that if they supported a successful constructive no-confidence vote that altered the composition of the ruling government and its leader, they would be taken care of when Gantz’s National Union took over.

You may recall that Netanyahu managed to generate a lot of resentment among his senior party members during the long months of coalition negotiations in late 2022, and early 2023, which resulted in the PM giving away the store to his future right-wing and Haredi partners. This resentment has since festered into full-blown grudges with several key members who felt neglected and humiliated. David Bitan, Dudi Amsalem, Yuli Edelstein, and Dany Danon come to mind. There are more, too many more.


Segev reported that Gantz’s people proposed the prime minister’s job to several Likud seniors, and did not demand it for Gantz. The only thing they asked for was that whoever replaces Netanyahu remain in office for a specific, agreed-upon period, and commit to not running for the Likud leadership in the future.

Benny Gantz and Benjamin Netanyahu seated as far as possible at a joint press conference in Tel Aviv, July 27, 2020. / Tal Shahar/POOL

Benny Gantz’s revenge is a dish served lava-hot. Having been denied the office of Prime Minister during his 2020-21 coalition government with Netanyahu – they were supposed to alternate – Gantz views this moment as his biggest chance to finally oust the rival he visibly loathes. Mainstream media polls give him unprecedented power, triple and quadruple his current 12 mandates. Many believe that should Netanyahu lose all his marbles and declare early elections (legally, he can wait until 2026), Gantz would sweep the vote and be able to establish a very broad center-left coalition government.


Now hear this: according to Kan11 News reporter Roy Case, senior officials in several Arab countries have been maintaining a direct channel with Benny Gantz. To their thinking, Gantz may be the next prime minister, and he represents a more “balanced” position on Israel’s security needs.

Why he so balanced he had PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas in his home for a private dinner. He so balanced he’s expected to run on an anti-Palestinian State agenda, and then, like a long list of Israeli PMs, starting with the late Yitzhak Rabin, turn 180 degrees and push for exactly that – a Palestinian State with its capital in eastern Jerusalem.

But Mrs. Tzila Netanyahu did not raise a fool, and Bibi, who will turn 75 next October, is hoping to weather even the tsunami of October 7, especially if Israel reaches a decisive win over Hamas in Gaza. In such a case, he would use the time until the fall of 2026 to boost the economy, lower taxes, gift every Israeli with whatever their heart desires, and recapture the heart of the center-right and unaffiliated voters. He is better at it than any of his rivals, why in 2022 it was his indefatigable campaign and no one else’s that eked out 64 mandates from the maximum of 58 predicted by the pollsters. It helped that his enemies were lazy and self-centered, but Bibi has shown that he can win elections in his sleep, never mind when he is fully awake and firing all 8 pistons (I know, I should slow down with this praise thing – I never in my life voted for the man).


Enter the Biden administration, which is being rewarded for its enormous support for Israel after October 7 with being abandoned by its leftist and Black voters (With Leftist Dems Threatening his Reelection, Biden Calls Netanyahu ‘Bad [Expletive] Guy’).

News13 reported Sunday night that while the world is awaiting Hamas’s response to Israel’s latest offer regarding the release of some 130 hostages (hoping they’re still alive), The US is pressuring Netanyahu to agree to a cessation of hostilities for at least four months, as part of a two-stage deal that includes the release of hostages and a normalization agreement between Israel and Saudi Arabia.

President Biden is subject to a tight schedule regarding the normalization deal between Jerusalem and Riyadh since the goodies the US must bribe the Saudis which would require the approval of a special majority in the Senate. As the date elections get closer, the difficulty of the Democratic administration in gathering the necessary votes of Republican senators is expected to increase.


And then there’s Ramadan, that magical month when billions of Muslims will be fasting from dawn to dusk and turn hostile and angry because of the low blood sugar thing. It’s happening starting Thursday night, February 20, which for some reason the Arabs see as a window of opportunity for hostage releases in exchange for murderous terrorists with Jewish blood still dripping from their fingers after the October 7 atrocities.

Will Netanyahu grab whatever deal the Americans, Egyptians, and Qataris cook for him, to be done with this four-month-long hostage crisis? Will he do it even if it would alienate the majority of his voters and possibly lose him his two political allies on the right, Itamar Ben Gvir and Bezalel Smotrich?

Finally, things appear to be moving along on the hostage negotiations front. Al-Akhbar, a Hezbollah-affiliated Lebanese daily, reported Monday:

“Palestinian sources reveal to Al-Akhbar that a delegation from the Hamas leadership is preparing to head to Cairo, and a delegation from the Palestinian factions may join it before the written response [to the Israeli offer] is delivered to the Egyptian side. … The Hamas leadership informed the Hezbollah leadership in Lebanon of the details of the ongoing contacts. Al-Akhbar learned that the Hamas leadership … focuses on the necessity of including in any proposal a clear and direct reference to a comprehensive ceasefire in the Gaza Strip, and providing guarantees that confirm [Israel’s] commitment to stopping the war at the end of any conflict…
“The sources said that consultations within the Hamas leadership focused on the necessity of not launching negative positions that could be exploited by the enemy or its American ally to exert more pressure. But the movement based its position on the reality on the ground, where the answer of the movement’s leadership in the Gaza Strip and the leadership of the Qassam Brigades was that the only difficulties facing the resistance are the human tragedy. It is a tragedy resulting from war, and therefore stopping this tragedy requires stopping the war clearly and unambiguously, and it also requires firm commitments to lift the siege on the Gaza Strip and launch the reconstruction process immediately.”

And so, Netanyahu’s government may be nearing the unavoidable phase of every great war: the backstabbing.

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