Ashkenazi: No ‘Crisis of Trust’ in Blue and White

YERUSHALAYIM -
Former IDF Chief of Staff Gabi Ashkenazi. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

There is no “crisis of trust” in Blue and White, despite comments by Benny Gantz that he does not trust the top three members of his own party, former IDF Chief of Staff Gabi Ashkenazi said Monday.

Ashkenazi was the first to comment on yet another set of explosive recordings, in which Gantz said yet again that he would be willing to work with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, even if he were set to be indicted in any of the investigations pending against him.

“Let’s say Netanyahu wins the election, and a week later President Trump presents his plan,” Gantz says on the tape, which was broadcast on Channel 13. “Israelis will look to Benny Gantz and say ‘you have to challenge Netanyahu on this,’ because otherwise (United Right List’s Betzalel) Smotrich will kill our last chance to do something. This is the moment I am here for, I tell Netanyahu that ‘without Smotrich, without this one and the other one, it’s Likud and Blue and White, let’s talk. We need a unity government. I tell Netanyahu that when his trial starts, he takes a leave of absence for a couple of months. We will figure out some arrangement,” he added.

Gantz also had criticisms of his party mates. About Ashkenazi himself, Gantz said that in a recent interview with himself, Ashkenazi, Yair Lapid and Moshe Yaalon, Ashkenazi “was very nervous, he was sweating. He only calmed down when we all said nice things about him.” In that interview, said Gantz, Ashkenazi “was not right. He should have said ‘Benny will make a great prime minister. He has a personal stake in this. He was in politics before me, I joined him. He would make a better prime minister than me,’” is what Ashkenazi should have said. As a result of that and other incidents, Gantz said, “I don’t trust any of them, any of those three. I don’t trust anyone.”

Ashkenazi, for his part, was not insulted, he told Channel 13. “This is old material, recycled,” he said of the comments by Gantz on his performance in the interview. Regarding the comments on joining Netanyahu’s government, Ashkenazi said that that would not happen. “We have nothing against the Likud, but we won’t sit with Netanyahu. I have stood behind Gantz and am doing everything I can to make him prime minister. He is very qualified for the position, otherwise I would not be in the party with him.”