Israel: Netanyahu's potential rival comes from a bit of silence

His mutated commentators and opponents: Benny Gantz, Israel's prime rival Benjamin Netanyahu's rival, broke his silence Thursday … for 17 seconds.

General Benny Gantz, former chief of staff, launched his campaign on social networks with a video clip of this duration, in which he promised "something else" without revealing his political convictions, subject of intense speculation for early elections on 9 April.

Gantz, 59, launched in December and created his party: "Resilience for Israel." The polls already predict a significant score for a man who performs strongly in the prestige of his functions as head of the military from 2011 to 2015, during which he led two wars in the Gaza Strip.

His program and the names of the other members of his list are still waiting. Otherwise it is easily presented as a centrist by the commentators.

In his statement on Facebook, Twitter and Instragram, he is consistent with his rather reticent image, in contrast to the verbal excesses of his rivals.

The video starts with the slogan of the campaign: "Israel first and foremost".

"Come with me and we will take a new path, because we need something else, and we will do something else," he promises.

After a pause he decides with a touch of irony: "I think I talked too much."

– "Leftist" –

Until then, Benny Gantz had made only one public statement: Monday he chose the Israeli Druze, who discriminate as a law passed in 2018 in which Israel is described as "the nation state of the Jewish people".

The Druze fear that the law will make them second-class citizens, especially by basing Israel's Jewish character on other principles, such as equality between citizens or the democratic nature of the country.

Gantz promised Monday to work to adjust the text. And the documents submitted in December to the registration of Mr. Gantz's party promise to "strengthen the Jewish and democratic character of Israel".

Gantz's position on Monday prompted him to be called "left" immediately by his rivals, including Likud from Netanyahu.

– Second force? –

If the polls predict a new victory of Mr. Netanyahu in the elections, the prime minister is still under the threat of corruption accusations in various cases, which could upset the situation.

On Wednesday, polls published by public radio and television, as well as by a private channel, presented the Resilience party with 13 of the 120 seats in Parliament, while Likud won 31 or 32, compared with 30 at present.

If these predictions prove to be right, Resilience becomes the second or third force in the Knesset.

One poll also claims that Netanyahu is still, 42 percent, the only Israeli who is best able to control the country, while Gantz has the confidence of 31 percent of them.

Some commentators have discussed the possibility of an alliance between Gantz and another former chief of staff, Moshe Yaalon, to form a center-right coalition.

Mr. Yaalon was Minister of Defense from 2013 to 2016 before he broke with Mr. Netanyahu. He also created his own band, Telem, in December.