With his party polling in the single digits, Labor Party head Avi Gabbay is intensively seeking a joint list with other figures in the center and center-left – but one figure with whom Gabbay will apparently not be joining is Benny Gantz, head of the Israel Resilience Party.
A report in Yisrael Hayom said that internal polls taken by Gantz showed that adding Gabbay and Labor MKs to his list would lessen overall support for the party – even assuming all Labor voters would support the joint list.
Another issue, the report said, was one that seems to be repeating itself throughout the election cycle – who will be number one on the list. Gabbay believes it should be him, as he heads the “veteran” party, while Gantz believes that it is him voters will flock to – not Gabbay, who is unable to raise the fortunes of his own party.
The same issue plagues talk of a joint list between Gantz and Yesh Atid head Yair Lapid; neither is prepared to give up the top spot. Gantz feels he deserves it because he will bring new voters to a joint list, succeeding where Lapid failed in the 2015 election, and Lapid believes he should get the top slot, as he has been in politics longer. It’s not clear if the two have discussed a rotation arrangement.
According to Kan News, yet another security figure is planning to throw his hat into the ring – Gal Hirsch. Hirsch was a commander during the Operation Protective Edge war with Hamas and in the Second Lebanon War, and in the past has been head of the IDF Officer School. He was nominated to head the Israel Police in 2015, but his nomination was pulled as the result of a police investigation against him. The nomination was also opposed by families of IDF soldiers killed in the Second Lebanon War.
Hirsch’s party, to be called Magen (Shield), will unveil its platform Monday night at a press conference – a day before Gantz is set to do so. According to Yisrael Hayom, Hirsch has already explored running as part of a joint list with Jewish Home, now headed by MK Betzalel Smotrich.