Will Former IDF Commander Benny Gantz Launch A New Political Party?

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Many are wondering if former IDF Chief of Staff Benny Ganz, who the polls show remains incredibly popular, will launch a new political party ahead of the next Knesset elections.

Political commentator Amit Segal is reporting just that, that Gantz is working to form his own party to compete in Knesset elections in 2019. Gantz is looking to enter the political arena and is not about to accept a junior position as a political novice, and by launching his own party; if he receives enough seats, will be a senior member of the cabinet.

Retired brigadier-general, Giora Anver, who is close to Gantz, is signaling that his friend is indeed setting up a new party. Speaking with Galei Tzahal (Army Radio), Anver stated “The former IDF Chief has decided to enter politics. He will not join Likud”. The last remark was made in response to rumors that he is negotiating joining the ruling party, i.e. Likud.

Anver added that he feels today, there are more than enough parties representing many platforms, and he suggests that Gantz select one of them as his political base instead of starting another party.

The 59-year-old Gantz entered the IDF in 1977, moving up the ranks to the top position. He was appointed Chief of Staff by Defense Minister Ehud Barak on February 5, 2011, assuming the post a few weeks later. He served until February 2015.

In July 2011, Gantz appointed a special committee to address a controversy that had developed concerning mention of the word Elokim in the military Yizchor tefilla. The committee determined that a disputed passage should read “Yizchor Am Yisrael”, and not “Yizchor Elokim”. Gantz upheld the committee’s ruling.

He holds a bachelor’s degree in history from Tel Aviv University, a master’s degree in political science from the University of Haifa, and an additional master’s Degree in National Resources Management from the National Defense University in the United States

(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)