He may not be perfect, but he’s “the real thing,” Blue and White head Benny Gantz said in an interview Wednesday. “I am a leader, not a newscaster. I have been leading a political party for a year and was a military leader for four years,” he told Army Radio. “I never studied acting in the United States.”
The latter comment was a veiled criticism of Binyamin Netanyahu, who has been criticizing Gantz in interviews and election material for gaffes he has made in speeches and presentations. One Likud commercial, for example, shows Gantz stuttering through a speech, launching off on a mistake he made and expanding it into an extended video. He has also made numerous misquotes, of both pessukim in the Tanach and of statements attributed to historical figures. Gantz has taken great offense at the personal campaign, and in the interview said that “I do not intend to go to the low places the Likud has gone.”
Gantz said that he realized he wasn’t perfect. “I speak and I sometimes make mistakes. I consider that perfectly acceptable for human beings. The only reason they are piling on me for this is because I threaten Netanyahu.”
In the interview, Gantz also discussed the growing scandal surrounding his tenure as head of the Fifth Dimension (Hameimad Hachamishi) tech firm, around which questions have arisen regarding a sweetheart deal between the company and police over the latter’s purchase of the system. Gantz reiterated that there was nothing to investigate and that there was no “scandal. This entire story will soon be revealed as complete nonsense. There is a strong political ‘aroma’ surrounding this matter, the letters from various ministers like Gilad Erdan and Amir Ohana make it clear that someone has been pressuring them into making accusations,” Gantz added.
Speaking to Yediot Acharonot Wednesday, Blue and White’s number three, Moshe Yaalon, said of the “Gantz stutters” campaign that the Blue and White head was not the first in Jewish history to stutter. “I would rather have someone who doesn’t speak as clearly as Netanyahu but speaks the truth. Netanyahu unfortunately lies constantly,” he added.