Opinion |

Israelis Who Voted for Gantz Weren't Defrauded, but Deluded Themselves

Iris Leal
Iris Leal
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A poster showing Benjamin Netanyahu and Benny Gantz on a car in Tel Aviv, April 24, 2020.
A poster showing Benjamin Netanyahu and Benny Gantz on a car in Tel Aviv, April 24, 2020.Credit: Tomer Appelbaum
Iris Leal
Iris Leal

In all the complaints against Benny Gantz and Gabi Ashkenazi, all the comparisons and lamentations, there’s a little something missing. I believe it’s called accepting responsibility.

Corona keeps Bibi in power and unmasks the MossadCredit: Haaretz

Let’s try to do a brief introspective exercise: Instead of wailing about the way the two of them defrauded their voters, let’s take a look at the self-delusion of more than a million voters, or 30 odd seats, in the last three elections. Perhaps it’s time to talk about the trance that took hold of an entire segment of the public that threw all its support behind one of the least charismatic and indecisive people ever to enter politics, who like Oedipus Rex, poked both his eyes out so that you wouldn’t recognize him or his partners as party heads.

After more than a year and three elections later, in which people who belonged to the left called repeatedly in opinion pieces for voters to abandon the Labor Party and Meretz and give their votes to Kahol Lavan; after those same people described the leadership of Gantz and Ashkenazi as “honest and charismatic;” after they demanded the left quit being so rigid and spoiled and vote for Gantz to “save the state’s institutions from the disease of corruption with which Likud had poisoned the state’s bloodstream” – who will give us back all those hours of reading we wasted on these idiots? Those who enthusiastically preached in favor of betraying an ideological choice for an unknown entity, which in the end used their votes to lend official support to corruption?

“We had no way of knowing,” is the way a betrayed woman may put it when her husband turns out to be a serial cheater. “There were no warning signs,” say the victim’s relatives after a woman has been murdered by her husband. “He looked like such an honest man,” the victims of the sting say in their defense.

It was possible to have understood that Kahol Lavan is a mix of ideologies and positions, that Yoaz Hendel and Zvi Hauser are a fifth column and that Gantz doesn’t want to be the leader. He was heard saying in his own voice that the door has been shut but not locked to the possibility of a unity government led by Benjamin Netanyahu. Weakness, softness, and indecision – all these characteristics were on display, but nobody was interested in seeing that.

And they still don’t want to see it. Many are still happily lapping up the alibi supplied by Gantz and Ashkenazi. “Whoever says that my party mates and I had the option of creating another government,” Gantz wrote on his Facebook page, “is lying and misleading.” The hint is clear. Hendel and Hauser would have prevented him from passing the legislation regarding the person charged with corruption, and wouldn’t have permitted him to establish a narrow coalition. Much has been written about the fraud committed by this duo, who have been dubbed Hansel and Gretel, but if Gantz and Ashkenazi showed just an iota of leadership they would have been able to demand that the men resign or reveal their misdeeds publicly. In the end they took the easy way out, the catastrophic way out.

Along with Orli Levi-Abekasis, Amir Peretz, Itzik Shmuli and Hansel and Gretel, of course, they have destroyed public faith politicians, in politics, and particularly the value of the right to vote. Under their aegis, a gaping hole has been created between the public and its elected officials. A bloated and heavy government is not an “emergency cabinet.” The stolen votes cannot be explained under these difficult circumstances without demanding the health or economy portfolios, and two official prime ministerial residences is more than a hint that Gantz is a rather easily corruptible man.

Whoever deludes themselves that this government will lead to stability at a time of emergency and distress should look out the window or step out onto the balcony. It’s the public’s lack of confidence that has led to a violation of safety instructions meant to curb the pandemic. A team at the National Security Council recently debated the possible outbreak of a popular uprising, and outbursts of anger taking place in various places will turn into a boiling cauldron of rage that may spill over onto the streets.

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