Who has been leaking the private conversations of Benny Gantz? The Blue and White party is determined to find out – and is exploring the possibility that there is a “stool pigeon” in the organization who is leaking to the media particularly juicy comments Gantz has been making in private.
The concern was brought to the fore after audio recordings of Gantz surfaced on Channel 13 this week. The recordings purport to represent Gantz speaking to a closed group of supporters, discussing, among other things, the hack of his cellphone, attributed to Iranian hackers. In the discussion, Gantz proposed that the hackers were perhaps not Iranian, but Russian – and that they were in league with Netanyahu.
Gantz said that that there was a “reasonable basis” to say that Netanyahu had worked with the Russians to compromise his phone. “If it wasn’t the Iranians, there are two other possibilities,” Gantz is heard saying on the tape. “One is that they [presumably Netanyahu] used cyberexperts to hack my phone, and the other – and this would be very characteristic of Netanyahu – to use the Russians to carry out this attack.” Netanyahu, he said, hates him so much that “if he could he would kill me.”
When asked what he thought Netanyahu would do after the election, Gantz said that “Netanyahu knows he is going to prison, no matter what the scenario. If he wins, he will end up in prison in the end, and even if he avoids prison, he will still be in prison – the one featuring his wife Sarah, and she is always in the one place he feels free, his office.”
Gantz agreed to an interview in the wake of that broadcast, but it did not go well for him. Stammering throughout, Gantz’s comments, according to political experts, were “evasive,” as he refused to discuss the comments, instead telling the interviewer several times that “we shouldn’t be discussing this nonsense, when the security of the country in in jeopardy.” Gantz stammered several times in the interview, resulting in parody videos of his performance that spread widely on social media.
The comments and the resulting interview, the Likud said, were an indication that Gantz has “clearly lost it” and is “displaying signs of advanced paranoia.” In a statement, the Likud said that “after Gantz accused Netanyahu of being a traitor, he now accuses him of sending agents to murder him. If Benny Gantz displays this kind of paranoia, after just two weeks of pressure in the election campaign and after the Iranians hacked his phone, how can he run this country?”
Party insiders told Yediot Acharonot Wednesday that the comments and subsequent interview “has caused major damage to the campaign and to Blue and White’s image. We want to know who is behind the distribution of this material. This is a very worrying situation. We have to close this leak immediately.”