Gantz Is Hamas' Wet Dream, Right-wing Education Minister Says

In latest round of tit-for-tat recriminations between the two, Bennett calls out the Kahol Lavan leader for knowingly endangering Israeli soldiers for the sake of 'fake morality' during the 2014 Gaza war

Education Minister Naftali Bennett and Benny Gantz .
Eli Hershkowitz and Moti Milrod

Naftali Bennett, who heads the right-wing Hayamin Hehadash party, is not fit to remain in his role as education minister, Benny Gantz said on Wednesday.

Gantz, who heads the Kahol Lavan alliance with Yair Lapid, was responding to remarks that Bennett made the day before on Army Radio. in which he said that his Hayamin Hehadash party “wants to be a new right wing that will defeat Hamas, that will defeat the High Court of Justice.”

In the latest round of tit-for-tat recriminations between the two, Bennett said Gantz is “the wet dream of Hamas’ people” and that if they could, the followers of the Islamist Gaza-based movement would vote for Gantz.

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“An education minister who compares Hamas and the High Court of Justice cannot remain in office for even another minute. They don’t even need to bring the Kahanists into the Knesset. They themselves are like that,” Gantz said, in reference to Bennett’s Hayamin Hehadash party and to the followers of the late far-right Rabbi Meir Kahane in the Otzma Yehudit party, which is running in the April 9 Knesset election.

“We’ll send this whole government home and restore this country to the responsible and reasonable place that it deserves,” Gantz added.

In response, Bennett tweeted: “If the people of Hamas had the right to vote, they would vote for Benny Gantz, the vacillating general, the man whom the State Comptroller’s report decisively found had totally failed to deal with the terror tunnels [under the border with Gaza], the man who ended in a draw with Hamas after 51 days of treading water and vacillation.”

Bennett's rebuttal is a reference to Operation Protective Edge, the 2014 war between Israel and Hamas, when Gantz was army chief of staff.

In a 2017 report, State Comptroller Joseph Shapira alleged that Gantz, as well as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, then Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon and the heads of the Shin Bet security service and Mossad security agencies all withheld information about an attack being planned by Hamas. Ya’alon is now a senior figure in Gantz’s Kahol Lavan party.

“The man who admitted that he knowingly endangered Golani combat soldiers for the sake of fake morality is also the man who established a left-wing party that is trying to pull the wool over the eyes of the residents of Israel and dares to give grades to those who have worked to repair the damage that he caused,” Bennett said of Gantz.

And then, in a reference to the public silence that Gantz maintained before launching his party’s election campaign, Bennett added: “It would be better if he resumed his silence.”