Israel’s Gantz Expected to Resign From Cabinet Post

by schengjigd

Foreign Affairs

State of the Union: His resignation would signal an inflection point in the Gaza war.

Netanyahu in office

Barring a last-minute resolution, the Israeli War Cabinet Minister Benny Gantz’s National Party appears set to withdraw from the coalition government established with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu following the October 7 terror attacks.

Gantz announced that he will give a public statement on Saturday after his ultimatum in May to commit to an agreed-upon vision for the Gaza conflict by June 8 has gone unrealized. The expected exit marks a significant moment in the war as many Western pundits view Gantz as less fanatical than Netanyahu’s cabinet allies including Minister of Defense Yoav Gallant. 

Gadi Eisenkot, Gantz’s political ally, will also leave the coalition. Both men are former IDF chiefs of staff and made up two-fifths of the emergency war cabinet.

On May 18, Gantz announced his ultimatum: By June 8, either Netanyahu would formulate a post-Gaza war plan that incorporated international allies or Gantz would exit the cabinet, fracturingNetanyahu’s coalition.

“A small minority took over the bridge of the Israeli ship and is sailing it toward a wall of rocks,” Gantz said in that May speech.”If you choose to lead the nation to the abyss, we will withdraw from the government, turn to the people, and form a government that can bring about a real victory.”

Netanyahu was furious and issued a scathing response, accusing Gantz of “seeking an end to the war and defeat for Israel, abandoning the majority of the hostages, leaving Hamas in power, and creating a Palestinian state.”

If nothing else, Gantz appears to be reading the political tea leaves surrounding what is becoming an ever-increasingly controversial conflict in Gaza. 

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President Joe Biden’s administration has signaled his belief that a Hamas-free Gaza appears unlikely as calls for ceasefire from abroad grow louder with recent anti-war protests engulfing American college campuses.

“We have to be honest about the fact that Hamas will remain in Gaza in some form after the war is over,” said a U.S. official in the Biden administration in May. “The past six months have proven no amount of fighting is going to change that.”

Gantz is likely to remain a major player in Israeli politics moving forward. In April, he called for early elections and only last week his National Party submitted a bill to dissolve the Knesset.

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