נפתלי בנט עידית סילמן
Idit Silman and Naftali Bennett
Photo: Kobi Koankas
Idit Silman and Naftali Bennett

If he plays his cards right, Gantz could emerge as next premier

Analysis: Following Idit Silman's dramatic coalition exit, the ball seems to be in defense minister's court, with Gantz finally having a reason to believe that right-wing MKs will jump on board a government headed by him

Moran Azulay |
Published: 04.06.22, 23:34
The latest political turmoil, started by on Wednesday morning by Yamina MK Idit Silman, has all but buried the current coalition government, placing Defense Minister Benny Gantz as the unlikely, potential winner of this crisis.
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  • After Silman announced her resignation from the coalition in favor of joining Benjamin Netanyhu's Likud, Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and other coalition members began to map out potential courses of action in order to keep the government on float.
    3 View gallery
    נפתלי בנט עידית סילמן
    נפתלי בנט עידית סילמן
    Idit Silman and Naftali Bennett
    (Photo: Kobi Koankas)
    Alongside many foreseeable obstacles the coalition faces, Gantz could be the main thing standing in the way of its survival.
    Gantz has been unhappy with his position in the current government since the day it was formed, feeling belittled and disregarded by its members. The defense minister, a well-rounded political player, may now have the power to take the wheel and the steer the Knesset in whatever direction he wants.
    Not only does this open doors for Gantz to pursue his personal goals, it is also very likely to prevent his former Blue & White co-founder-turned-rival, Yair Lapid, from becoming prime minister as part of the rotation deal with Bennett.
    3 View gallery
    Blue and White's Benny Gantz and Yair Lapid
    Blue and White's Benny Gantz and Yair Lapid
    Blue and White's Benny Gantz and Yair Lapid
    (Photo: Alex Kolomoisky)
    However, while it's in Gantz's interests that the coalition falls into disarray, his voters would be less than pleased if he was portrayed as lending a hand to its collapse. Therefore, the most ideal course of action would be for someone else to do the dirty work for him, and who better for the job than the right-wing Yamina party.
    But, even though the government is falling apart, the Likud may wish to regain its strength and re-crown its irreparable leader Netanyahu as the next premier - provided the factions wins the next elections.
    Netanyahu's bloc won't let go of the chance to triumph so easily, and isn't likely to warm up towards the idea of Gantz becoming the next premier, even if it means m.
    3 View gallery
    בנימין נתניהו במליאה
    בנימין נתניהו במליאה
    Benjamin Netanyhu
    (Photo: Alex Kolomoisky)
    One way or another, Gantz is the only major political player who has in the past few months been pandering to the Opposition MKs, and he may finally reap the fruits of his diligence.
    Meanwhile, just hours after Silman left them in a pickle, Gantz and Lapid held a security briefing with 80 foreign ambassadors stationed in Israel. Gantz told the ambassadors that "in the past year, Iran has gone from 10 kilograms of 60% enriched uranium to 50 kilograms... if no deal is signed, we must activate a plan B".
    Lapid acknowledged the Negev Summit, and said that "it was a correct model of regional cooperation in order to fight terror and strengthen political relations that'll promise regional stability".
    Both glossed over the ensuing pollical drama.
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