Netanyahu's Top Challenger Launches Campaign, Revealing Long-awaited Election Slogan

According to new polls released Wednesday, 31 percent of Israeli prefer Benny Gantz to Benjamin Netanyahu as PM, while 42 percent favor Netanyahu

Former Israeli Army's Chief of Staff Lieutenant General Benny Gantz attends a memorial service for late Israeli writer Amos Oz in Tel Aviv on December 31, 2018.
AFP

Benjamin Netanyahu's top contender in the upcoming Israel election, Benny Gantz, launched his campaign Thursday, revealing his party's slogan for the first time. 

Benny Gantz's new Hosen L'Yisrael party is running under the "Israel Before Everything" slogan. In a 17-second online video, Gantz said: "For me, Israel is before everything. Join me and we will walk down a new path. Because we need something different and we will do something different."

At the end of the video Gantz, who has yet to speak publicly about his campaign besides a first short appearance on Monday, ends the video with a joke, saying: "I think I've spoken too much."

>> Concerted attack by right casts Gantz as clearest threat to Netanyahu | Opinion

Haaretz reported Tuesday that Gantz, a former army chief of staff, is close to cementing his ticket for the April 9 election. 

Haaretz Weekly Ep. 12

According to two new polls released Wednesday by the Israel Television News Company and Israel's public broadcaster Kan, Gantz's new party would receive 13 seats in the 120-seat Knesset if elections were held now. The polls also showed that 31 percent of Israelis believe Gantz is more suitable than Benjamin Netanyahu for the prime minister post, compared with 42 percent who favor Netanyahu. 

According to the polls, Likud would receive 31-32 seats, while Yair Lapid's Yesh Atid would receive anywhere between 10 and 14 seats. According to he poll, Labour would garner seven to nine seats, and Naftali Bennett and Ayelet Shaked's new party Hayamin Hehadash would get seven to eight seats.

Full poll results published by Israeli media Wednesday:

Israel Television News Company (last poll results in parenthesis)

Likud: 32 (31)
Yesh Atid: 14 (10)
Hosen L'Yisrael: 13 (12)
Labor: 9 (8)
Hayamin Hehadash: 8 (6)
United Torah Judaism: 7 (7)
Ta'al: 6 (Joint List 12)
Joint List: 6 (12)
Shas: 6 (5)
Yisrael Beiteinu: 6 (5)
Meretz: 5 (5)
Kulanu: 4 (5)
Gesher: 4 (5)
Hatnuah: 0
Habayit Hayehudi: 0

Israel's public broadcaster

Likud: 31 (28)
Hosen L'Yisrael: 13 (14)
Joint List: 12 (12)
Yesh Atid: 10 (13)
Hayamin Hehadash: 7 (9)
Labor: 7 (7)
Kulanu: 6 (7)
Gesher: 6 (6)
United Torah Judaism: 6 (7)
Shas: 5 (6)
Meretz: 5 (6)
Hatnuah: 4 (0)
Yisrael Beiteinu: 4 (5)
Habayit Hayehudi: 4 (4)