US President Donald Trump and Blue and White faction leader Benny Gantz did not meet together with reporters for a joint news conference at the White House following their meeting to discuss the upcoming Trump Middle East Peace Plan, set to be unveiled Tuesday at 12 noon local time.
However, Gantz did release his own statement to reporters — one that made clear just how much of a political novice he still is.
In the statement, the Blue and White faction leader clarified that he is not ready to work to support the plan unless he is first safe within a “stable functioning Israeli government, in tandem with the other countries in our region.” In fact, he minimized the plan’s importance, first addressing other issues entirely.
True leadership, of course, is when one faces the challenge of having to be the “Nachson” who strides into the raging waters knowing there is no choice but to have the faith and courage to lead in forging the new path. To fear expressing support for a peace plan prior to an election speaks volumes about a candidate already serving as an elected member of an Israeli parliament.
In his statement, Gantz said: “I just completed an important and exceptional meeting with the President of the United States, Mr. Donald Trump, a true and courageous friend of the State of Israel.
“We discussed matters of the utmost importance to Israel’s future and security, the details of which I will not disclose for the time being.
“I thanked the President for his profound support of Israel’s citizens and for his commitment to their security, particularly in responding to Iran and its terror proxies threatening our borders over the past few years, as well as his decision to recognize Israel’s sovereignty over the Golan Heights and to move the US Embassy to Jerusalem.
“I also addressed the issue of Hezbollah and the increased activity we are witnessing on Syria’s and Lebanon’s borders.
“The president’s peace plan is a significant and historic milestone, indeed.
“Immediately after the elections, I will work toward implementing it from within a stable functioning Israeli government, in tandem with the other countries in our region.
“President Trump and I also discussed the importance of dialogue with the Palestinians, the neighboring countries and the king of Jordan.
“I spoke with the President on the captives and missing soldiers held by Hamas and stressed that any arrangement must ensure the long-awaited return.
“I would like to express, once again, my appreciation to President Trump, Vice President Mike Pence, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Special Advisor to the President Jared Kushner and Ambassador Friedman for the reception, the important invitation to the White House and for their unwavering and honest commitment to the State of Israel.”
As a Member of Knesset, Gantz need not wait at all – in fact, is obligated not to wait at all – in working towards implementing as much of the Trump Middle East Peace Plan as is relevant and appropriate.
From the moment the proposal is released, the Israeli Knesset is duty-bound to begin deliberations on the suggestions and recommendations set forth in the document and to implement whatever proves appropriate and/or relevant to the State of Israel.
Suggesting that as an electoral candidate he must wait for “a stable functioning Israeli government” – much less require the cooperation of “other countries in our region” – is disingenuous at best, and outright evasion at its worst.