Report: Gantz Thinking of Quitting Politics

YERUSHALAYIM -
(Left to right): Yair Lapid, Benny Gantz, Gabi Ashkenazi and Moshe Yaalon, leaders of the Blue and White party, on election night, March 3, 2020. (Miriam Alster/Flash90)

The end of the Likud-Blue and White coalition could well be the end of the political careers of Defense Minister Benny Gantz and Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi.

According to a Channel 13 report, the two leaders of the Blue and White party are thinking of leaving politics rather than running in the next election.

The report comes amid polls showing that Blue and White, which currently holds 15 seats in the Knesset, will barely scrape past the threshold with 5 or 6 if elections were held now.

A Kantar Institute poll broadcast Tuesday night on Kan predicted 6 mandates for the party. A Midgam poll on Channel 12 predicted only 5, if Tel Aviv mayor Ron Huldai runs separately, only 4.

Gantz served as Chief of the General Staff of the IDF until February 2015, when he retired and went into private life, business and philanthropic activity.

In December 2018, Gantz entered politics at the head of his own party, Israel Resilience, which subsequently merged withformer minister of defense and IDF Chief Moshe Ya’alon and his Telem Party for the 2019 elections. In February, they were joined by Yesh Atid and the name they took for the new venture was Blue and White.

Gantz was elected to the 21st Knesset in April 2019 as head of the Blue and White Party. ​After three inconclusive elections, in April 2020 Gantz and Ashkenazi gave up their goal of replacing Netanyahu with a center-left bloc and took their factions with them into a coalition with Netanyahu’s Likud, Shas and United Torah Judaism, leaving their partners to fend for themselves.

In an unprecedented deal, Gantz agreed to join a unity government with Prime Minister Netanyahu which would see Gantz serve as prime minister in a rotation deal in 18 months, on November 17, 2021.

Now, as the government falls, Gantz’s hopes to reach the prime minister’s office are also falling, and political pundits are already marveling at the short, meteoric and ultimately disappointing career of Benny Gantz.