Netanyahu will be forced to choose: the day after Gallant or the day after the government

The sharp indictment that Defense Minister Gallant submitted yesterday to Prime Minister Netanyahu during the war, was not just a frustration for his procrastinating style in regards to “the day after” in the Gaza Strip. The heart of the crisis is also not about the fact that Gallant dared to attack the Prime Minister in public – by virtue of his feeling that he has public immunity from dismissal since that speech last year regarding the reform. The heart of this difficult dispute which has been exposed to the eyes of all the people of Israel is not about how and when – but also about what An acute ideological crisis between Galant and the heads of the security establishment Gantz and Eisenkot and Netanyahu, Smotrich Ben Gabir and many of the Likud ministers. If Galant had not spoken last night, we would soon have heard similar texts from Eisenkot, who is losing patience every minute he remains in the government.

Gallant’s demand from Netanyahu to state publicly that there will be no military government in Gaza, along with the fact that he emphasizes that the only alternative other than such a government or Hamas is local Palestinian forces that are identified with the Palestinian Authority, sets a clear ultimatum to Netanyahu – me or the right-wing markers in the government and Likud. Galant is the nightmare of Smotrich and Ben Gvir and large parts of the right among Netanyahu’s voters. Assuming there is really no Saudi or Emirati third party who will agree to take the burden in Gaza on their shoulders – as the Ministry of Defense believes, if Netanyahu meets Galant’s demand the clear meaning is the dissolution of the government.

Defense Minister Galant and Bezalel Smotrich, Photo: Oren Ben Hakon, Coco

This is a serious ideological crisis. Gallant places himself in a significant minority position in relation to the majority opinion of the right-wing leadership. Bringing the Palestinian Authority or any local Palestinian entity related to it into Gaza is considered by many in the government as the infrastructure for a Palestinian state. While Gallant’s words are a red sheet for them, the ambition of Smotrich, Ben Gvir and parts of Likud is for Gallant “as blood and sacrifices without a purpose”. A gaping chasm between those who apparently share the same basic lines in the coalition agreement.

Evidence of the interesting disparity can be found in the fact that Gideon Sa’ar, who serves in the opposition, attacked Gallant from the right for his words and sided with Netanyahu’s position that Hamas must be destroyed both civilian and military before introducing another governing body into the Strip.

So is Gallant setting up obstacles regarding recruitment and now to dismantle the government? Is he building his place outside Likud in the next elections? The answer to both of these questions is probably negative. In conversations, Gallant says that these are not his goals. Gallant says that he does not want to disband the government, as he wants to continue the war and elections are nearing the end of the campaign as well as the commission of inquiry that will examine him himself. He believes that he represents the real Likud that was in the past.

Abu Mazen and Joe Biden, Photo: Reuters

On top of that, if he retires, no opposition party will want the Minister of Defense responsible for the terrible massacre. Certainly not a possible new party of Yossi Cohen or Naftali Bennett. With Gantz, there is no room for another general, so Gallant doesn’t have many options left. Either go home, or try to stay in Likud. time will tell.

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