Lapid: Gantz a ‘Good, Worthy Man’

YERUSHALAYIM -
Composite photo of former IDF Chief of Staff Benny Gantz (L.) and Yair Lapid, head of the Yesh Atid party. (Gili Yaari/Flash90/Flash90)

Yesh Atid will not seek to “destroy” Benny Gantz’s Israel Resilience Party if it does not choose to join the Yair Lapid-led party, with Gantz taking the number-two slot, Lapid said in a social media post Thursday. Lapid was denying a report in Yisrael Hayom which quoted top Yesh Atid activists as saying they would do just that if Gantz did not take the number-two slot in Yesh Atid.

“I never bother to deny anonymous reports such as these, but the Yisrael Hayom headline is just wrong and does not reflect our values. We don’t do that sort of thing, and certainly not to good and worthy people such as Benny Gantz,” Lapid wrote. “Anyone who speaks this way has no place in Yesh Atid. This has no connection to reality.”

The report quoted top Yesh Atid activists as saying that it was Lapid who should be leading the centrist political movement, not Gantz. “There are still a few more weeks for the closure of party lists. We believe that Gantz will do the right thing,” the report quoted the activists as saying. “If in the end Gantz does not join us, we will destroy him politically.”

The comments come after a poll by Walla News Wednesday, the first one taken after Gantz introduced himself politically to Israelis Tuesday. The poll shows that if elections were held today, Gantz would get 19 seats – seven more than the last poll, taken Friday. Gantz seems to have taken some support from both the Likud and Yesh Atid. In the new poll, the Likud gets 29 seats, compared to 33 last week, while Yesh Atid falls to 12 from 15.

In a poll by Channel 13 news, 36 percent of Israelis said that Binyamin Netanyahu would make the best prime minister. But Gantz was right behind, with 35 percent saying that he was the preferred national leader. Sixteen percent said that neither were worthy, while 14 percent have not made up their minds.