Benny Gantz opposes the addition of Gideon Sa’ar to the War Cabinet: what works well does not need to be fixed

Blue and White chairman Benny Gantz said this morning (Wednesday) that he opposes the addition of New Hope chairman Gideon Sa’ar to the limited war cabinet that was formed when he joined the government. Sa’ar announced last night the dissolution of their political partnership. “What works well does not need to be fixed,” he said at the beginning of the faction meeting he convened today in the Knesset. Gantz was asked if he knew about Sa’ar’s intention to leave the joint faction, and replied in the negative, but noted that he was not surprised by this. In response to his words, Sa’ar said that “Minister Gantz’s opposition to joining the War Cabinet is irrelevant and not for reasons of the good of the state.”

The chairman of the state camp also criticized the government’s conduct during the war, saying, among other things, that the continuation of the fighting and the release of the abductees will require “telling the truth to the public and making difficult decisions.” At the beginning of the meeting of the Blue and White faction in the Knesset, Gantz also spoke about the public confrontations with the United States, saying : “We must act together with our friends, and resolve the disputes with them in closed rooms.”

Gantz emphasized that the war cabinet “is united in the need to continue the ground operation, including in Rafah, in order to dismantle the military and governmental capabilities of Hamas,” and noted that in order to gain international legitimacy, Israel will have to find humanitarian solutions that “will serve the campaign and the process that follows.” He noted that “when the fighting is over, we will go to the elections. Anyone who runs will explain what he is proposing, and what he did during this difficult time for the country.”

Gantz claimed that the state budget that will be submitted today for approval by the Knesset “reflects the days of October 6”, and said that there are operational needs and priorities that are compromised as a result of political considerations designed to prevent the recruitment of the ultra-Orthodox. “The existing situation cannot continue,” Gantz said. “We have soldiers who have already returned to the reserves, and it is operationally necessary to extend the service of the regular soldiers. They look to us with the expectation of a fundamental and real change. I appeal to all parts of society, and also to my ultra-Orthodox brothers – the time has come. The country needs them all.”

I chose to say goodbye to Minister Gantz with respect. Unfortunately, Minister Gantz’s opposition to my joining the War Cabinet is irrelevant and not for reasons of the good of the country. Just as was his opposition at the beginning of the war to the addition of MK Avigdor Lieberman to the war cabinet. But – in essence – Gantz is wrong. His opposition to changing the limited cabinet composition…

Sa’ar responded to his words on the X social network, and wrote: “In essence – Gantz is wrong.” According to him, “a very broad public feels and knows that there is much to be corrected in the way the war is navigated by the limited cabinet. A very broad public sees that since that time the measures taken are not appropriate to the goals of the war.”

Earlier, the chairman of Tikva Hadada Gideon Sa’ar said that in his view, he should have been appointed as a member of the war cabinet upon joining the government at the beginning of the war – but this “didn’t help”. Most importantly, this is the most important place to be.” In an interview at TheMarker conference, Sa’ar said that dissolving the partnership with Benny Gantz was “the thing I had to do. I may have done it somewhat late, but that’s what I had to do.”

For more updates from “TheMarker” conference

Sa’ar added: “My choice, even when I end a partnership, is to do it with respect. And unfortunately it was not successful, and I want to end the partnership with respect.” He explained that his party is a member of Gantz’s Blue and White partly because of their common opposition to the coup d’état, even though their positions on political and security issues differ from each other. “Everyone is in public life to promote their world view, that of their party,” he said. According to him, at the beginning of the war “it was more important to me that the emergency government be established than my interest”, but today – in view of his experience in the political-security cabinet – “it is the natural thing that I would ask for the position of influence in the most important place in the most important matter”.

H"As Gideon Sa'ar at TheMarker conference, today
H"As Gideon Sa'ar at TheMarker conference, today

MK Gideon Sa’ar at TheMarker conference, today Photography: Motti Milrod

MK Gideon Sa’ar at TheMarker conference, today Photography: Motti Milrod

When asked by the interviewer, Ofir Paz Pines, if he would provide the Prime Minister with a safety net, he replied: “There is no person in Israeli politics who has fought Netanyahu more than me in the last decade. There is no person who has paid a heavier personal price for it, me and my family members. But I do not propose to reverse it It is more important to talk than the war that the people of Israel are going through right now. And my joining, along with Gantz and Eisenkot, in the government, was done with the understanding that this is currently the most important thing for the future of the State of Israel.” He stated that he supports the early elections, but believes that it is not sustainable now. “There is also no majority in the Knesset for early elections, so this is a discussion that is at least disconnected from parliamentary reality,” he said.

Regarding the war in Gaza, Sa’ar said that Hamas cannot remain in power in the Gaza Strip and cannot threaten Israel as a military force. “My criticism until today was about slowing down at a certain point,” he said, “in my opinion, we could have already been in a better place, but we must complete the task.” According to him, “Gaza will obviously have to go through a period of rehabilitation, the rehabilitation will also involve demilitarization. In the security dimension, we need to maintain freedom of action in the entire strip even the day after. We should not allow force building as we allowed in the past.”

Yesterday, Sa’ar announced the dissolution of his partnership with Gantz, saying: “I respect my friends, the representatives of the state camp in the war cabinet, but unfortunately they do not express in it the voice, positions and emphases that I would bring there.” He added: “Our voice, the voice of the state right, is essential today more than ever. Israel today needs an alternative to the state right.” About two weeks ago Sa’ar said that he does not rule out sitting in the Likud government led by Netanyahu even after the war.

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