Israel's Gantz Quits Coalition Government, Charges Netanyahu With Making "Total Victory Impossible"

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by Tyler Durden
Sunday, Jun 09, 2024 - 07:45 PM

Israeli opposition leader Benny Gantz on Sunday announced that he is quitting Israel's emergency government under Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. 

In a statement he blamed Netanyahu for making "total victory impossible" and further accused him of neglecting achieving the release of the remaining hostages. Gantz blasted Netanyahu and urged him to prioritize returning the hostages above his own "political survival". Netanyahu's coalition still holds a 64-member majority in the Knesset, and won't immediately fall apart, but this is expected to unleash destabilization toward an unclear outcome.

Gantz was initially expected to announce his departure Saturday, but postponed it amid news of the successful IDF hostage recovery operation in central Gaza, which resulted in the return of four Israelis in good health.

Below are Gantz's words wherein he called on other coalition leaders as well as members of the Knesset to join him in forming a new government, and to hold new future elections

Exiting the coalition, National Unity chairman Benny Gantz calls on all members of the Knesset “who understand where we are going” to join forces with him and “obey the command of your conscience,” particularly Defense Minister Yoav Gallant.

“Yoav, we have known each other for many years. Even when there were tensions between us, I always respected and appreciated you. In this war – I learned to appreciate you even more,” he says of his now-erstwhile war cabinet colleague.

“You are a brave and determined leader and above all – a patriot. At this time, leadership and courage are not only saying what is right – but doing what is right,” he adds.

He tells the nation he is not a conman and nor is he a politician who will put his political career above the needs of the state. “I will promise you one thing: I’m prepared to die for your children,” he says. “My colleagues and will always stand up and be counted when the country needs us… at any political price. I risked my life for the state in the line of fire dozens of times,” he says, and vows he won’t be deterred by political risk.

Gantz also apologizes to the families of the hostages for failing to save their loved ones. “We did a lot [but] failed when it came to results,” he says. “We haven’t been able to get many of them back home yet. The responsibility is also mine.”

Gantz has also previously punched hard against the more extreme members of Netanyahu's coalition, calling them "fanatics"..."If you choose the path of fanatics and lead the entire nation to the abyss — we will be forced to quit the government," he has warned in prior weeks leading up to Sunday.

The centrist politician had already previously verbalized a plan to hold new elections by October, and three weeks ago he demanded in a provocative ultimatum that Netanyahu had until June 8 to present a clear strategic plan for the Gaza war.

Gantz hopes to inspire a domino effect of departures, eventually collapsing the Netanyahu war government...

Huge anti-Netanyahu protests have continued in Tel Aviv and in front of government buildings and even Netanyahu's residence, and have been led by hostage victims' families. They are outraged there's been lack of clarity or prioritization of getting the rest of the hostages home, also as truce negotiations with Hamas have all but collapsed.

Gantz's Tamano-Shata party has previously stated that "The 7th of October is a disaster that requires us to go back in order to receive the public's trust, to establish a broad and stable unity government that can lead us safely in the face of the enormous challenges in security, the economy and, above all, in Israeli society. Submitting the bill now will allow us to bring it up in the current session."