Photo Credit: Miriam Alster/FLASH90
Those were the days: retiring IDF Chief of Staff Benny Gantz shaking hands with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, February 16, 2015.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Saturday night commented on the speculation, voiced among others by Likud ministers Gilad Erdan and Yuval Steinitz, that Benny Gantz will serve as defense minister in Netanyahu’s government after the elections.

Netanyahu explained why he would not accept Gantz as his defense minister: “Benny Gantz, who supports the dangerous nuclear deal with Iran, who supports the uprooting of 90,000 settlers, who opposed the construction of the fence I built on the Egyptian border and totally blocked infiltration into Israel, who invents blood libels against me and who is being crushed under the pressure of an election campaign –will not be defense minister in my government.”


“Whoever wants a left-wing coalition votes for Lapid and Gantz,” Netanyahu added. “Anyone who wants a right-wing coalition must vote only for the Likud headed by Netanyahu.”

Ganz responded minutes after Netanyahu’s announcement, with an equally harsh statement: “Netanyahu will not be the finance minister in my government. He will lose the election and go to face his three indictments, as well as the investigation the State Prosecutor’s Office is starting on the submarines for commissions affair.”

Ganz suggested Netanyahu had understood over the weekend that he would no longer be prime minister after the elections. “The citizens of Israel are fed up with the brotherly hatred he sows in the nation,” Gantz said, adding that while “the Likud will be a full partner in every government, Netanyahu and his brotherly hatred will be removed from public life.”

Obviously, Gantz’s claims are not backed by public opinion polls, which are trending in favor of a right-wing bloc, but it’s refreshing to see the aloof, cryptic former chief of staff finally splashing in the mud among all the other wrestlers.