גדי אייזנקוט בהצהרה לתקשורת של מפלגת המחנה הממלכתי
Gadi Eisenkot during his first press availability since joining politics
Photo: Motti Kimchi
Gadi Eisenkot, Benny Gantz and Gideon Sa'ar

Eisenkot: Israel must pursue peace, ensure equality for all citizens

Former military chief speaks to reporters after joining National Unity alliance under former commander Benny Gantz; says Israel must prevent bi-national state, and no public figure under indictment must be allowed to run for elections

Sivan Hilai |
Published: 08.14.22, 21:47
Former IDF Chief of Staff Gadi Eisenkot said Sunday that Israel should pursue peace and ensure equality to all citizens as he launches his first political campaign ahead of November 1 elections.
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  • Speaking to reporters for the first time since he announced his intention to enter politics and join in the National Unity party alliance led by Defense Minister Benny Gantz, the former army chef said he was privileged to have commanded the military and be a part of building Israel's unique strength.
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    הצהרה לתקשורת של מפלגת המחנה הממלכתי
    הצהרה לתקשורת של מפלגת המחנה הממלכתי
    Gadi Eisenkot, Benny Gantz and Gideon Sa'ar
    (Photo: Contact)
    "Israel has been embroiled in a political crisis and political instability that have lasted for years and caused a rift in society," Eisenkot said. "I could not sit aside and decided to join an alliance that will be the basis of a broad and stable government," he said.
    "I believe the national homeland of the Jewish People must ensure full equality to all of its citizens, regardless of race, creed or gender and work to bolster its national interests and its long-term security," he said.
    "We must work to diffuse the threats from Iran and its proxies, actively prevent a future bi-national state, which will endanger the entire Zionist effort, and pursue peace with our neighbors out of strength," he said.
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    גדי אייזנקוט בהצהרה לתקשורת של מפלגת המחנה הממלכתי
    גדי אייזנקוט בהצהרה לתקשורת של מפלגת המחנה הממלכתי
    Gadi Eisenkot during his first press availability since joining politics
    (Photo: Motti Kimchi)
    He called for a modest leadership that will focus on the interest of Israelis.
    "In my view we must seek to form a government that will unite the forces who support the country's establishment, return political stability and advance respectful dialogue and national interests," he said.
    "We are faced with national-security challenges and do not have a right to refrain from forming a functioning government for the citizens of the country."
    The retired general praised his former commander, Gantz, who was chief of staff before Eisenkot, and said he was the right man to lead the political alliance. He added that Gideon Sa'ar, who partnered with Gantz, was a man of few words but had done plenty to strengthen Israel as a democracy with equality and unity.
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    Benny Gantz and Gadi Eizenkot share an embrace as the latter leaves the army in the hands of a new chief of staff  in 2015
    Benny Gantz and Gadi Eizenkot share an embrace as the latter leaves the army in the hands of a new chief of staff  in 2015
    Benny Gantz and Gadi Eizenkot share an embrace as the latter leaves the army in the hands of a new chief of staff in 2015
    (Photo: Ofer Meir )
    Eisenkot said former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had been in office when he had led the IDF and therefore would not like to comment on him.
    "I just want to take a principled position which believes a public servant, no matter what position he holds, cannot run for office while under indictment. Those are not the norms we want to see in a law-abiding democracy," he said.
    Eisenkot had kept party leaders in suspense for the past weeks, while he considered whether to join politics and whom he should align with. He was courted by Yair Lapid's Yesh Atid party before joining the National Unity party.
    Gantz said his former military deputy had faced the most difficult challenges with courage. "His professionalism and loyalty have brought him here and he will apply them to the political field," Gantz said.

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