Blue and White chairman Benny Gantz in a Ynet studio interview sharply criticized the conduct of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his coalition partners: “Netanyahu does not stop in red and sells the country to everyone for his needs. There is the silence of lambs that makes Netanyahu practical, even if he does not want it, to be a de facto Sultan.”
Gantz referred to the Immunity Law and the ruling on overcoming incompetence in the High Court of Justice, which are on the agenda in the coalition negotiations: “People chose for a prime minister but they are going to get a Sultan. He will pass the law and grant immunity. People will receive legislation of interest and it will not be possible to prevent it. Obviously, it is impossible to prevent this in the Knesset, because there is a majority, but also other tools that a democratic regime should protect and all the balance between the authorities – all this is broken down.
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Is this the end of democracy, the cessation clause?
“Of course, the tools that stand in a democracy are not just the matter of choice but how the administration behaves, I think there is a need for balance between the authorities, but it seems to me that the court intervened in legislative decisions perhaps 18 times in 20 years.
If so, you exaggerate the issue of overcoming it
“When the court intervened? not when it meets basic laws. Law intervened only in those places where the tyranny of the majority harmed
the individual and his democratic rights. There we need the court. What is going to happen is that the balances of the system are going to be violated.”
Do you think Netanyahu is a dictator?
Netanyahu is not a dictator but he is taking the system in the direction of the tyranny of the majority. You know very well what people in the Likud are thinking of Netanyahu. There is a sheep silence here that makes Netanyahu practical, even if he does not want it, to be a dictator or a de facto Sultan.”
Are you afraid that Israel can become a Turkish state, deteriorate into this place?
“I am convinced that this is the direction. When I said this in the election campaign, you were all surprised. If the government does not know how to limit itself, then it will turn from government to power. From prime minister to de facto ruler, and eventually, we will all get tyranny.
One day you will be told, `Publish what you want in the newspaper but keep one page for the government’s announcements. Wait for it to come. Why not? ”
He’s been here for a decade, suddenly he might be a dictator?
“I am afraid of this point. Netanyahu, whom I have admired over the years, has been very successful in recent years putting his personal and legal desires before anything else. If necessary, then he sells democratic principles in exchange for immunity, overcoming the Supreme Court, expanding the number of ministers. There are Holocaust survivors here who do not know how to finish the month – but there will be 10 more ministers here? ”
Do you support the line of Yair Lapid and Ofer Shelach to demonstrate in front of the houses of all ministers? Is this a line that is acceptable to you?
“It’s the line I lead. We will act on all four levels: in the parliament, in front of every possible institution, in the media and in the street for mobilizing the public, we will make our voices heard. If we do not make our voices loud, we will miss our job purpose. At this time we were elected as an opposition. We will fight in every democratic way. You will not see violence. Not incitement. We look at democratic tools. ”
Gantz refused to relate to the internal tension in blue and white about cooperation with more radical elements such as leftist activist Eldad Yaniv. “We are not talking about how we organize for demonstrations, we are embarking on a protest march,” he said.
It sounded like a tie event
“Do you want us to burn tires? to act violently? it will not happen to us.”
Gantz criticized Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon: “I think that Kahalon had a moral stance in maintaining the law and he is losing it. I hope that he and Roi Folkman will come to their senses.”
Regarding the situation in Gaza, Gantz claimed that the government should exert greater force and not restrain itself from provocations by Hamas: “The government must return to function from a security standpoint as well. It has not done so recently. There were several quiet days. The activity in Gaza Strip must be decisive. We can not let the burning balloons return. We have to act decisively.”
What does it mean?
“It means firmness. it means no restraint on small things. To act in a sequence without compromises. I assume we will see an escalation and after the escalation, it will be quiet once more.”
Need to attack every balloon?
“We must attack any violation of sovereignty and damage to the State of Israel, which is what it has done in other arenas. That’s what we have to do in Gaza.”
Is there an innovative tool that you can present?
“There are people in the army. There is an intelligence picture. There are pictures of targets. We have an operational tool. We have to use them without fear. Government of Israel – use the tools with great force. Do not forget your role as a government. The government closed a resilience center in the Gaza envelope and opened a new office in Jerusalem. it did not make any sense to me at all.”
Can you understand why you are treated as a kind of shelf product from PR agencies?
“I do not work for you to make headlines. I work for the citizens of the State of Israel and I do it in my own way because I think it’s the right way. I believe in what I do. There are people whose entire faith is religious or economic.
My approach is to respect every human being. I’m not going to change the way that I believe is right. How does it happen that a lot of Likud people still respect me? ”
Do you think that these days Israel is torn in two?
“I hope not, I’m telling you that I see here as an omission and democratic decline. People have chosen one thing and they will get something else.
Sometime we’ll look back and we will not understand where we lost it. I am afraid that this is the Knesset before us. “