Gantz Told Abbas He Wants to Be the New Rabin

YERUSHALAYIM -
Defense Minister Benny Gantz. (Olivier Fitoussi/Flash90)

Benny Gantz aspires to be a peacemaker like Yitzchak Rabin – but not right away.

“I want to be the new [Yitzhak] Rabin but in this government there are limits,” he told Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas in a meeting recently, quoted by Channel 12, which cited PA Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh as its source.

The “limits” Gantz referred to were presumably the politics of his partners in the coalition, such as Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, who has said repeatedly in recent days that he will not meet with Abbas, as he is opposed to a Palestinian state, and there is nothing for them to talk about.

Gantz, on the other hand, also told Abbas in the meeting: “I believe in the two-state solution and believe it is the appropriate solution.”

The late premier Rabin signed the Oslo peace accords with the Palestinian Liberation Organization, which allowed it to return to Gaza, and was blamed for the series of horrific suicide bombings that followed.

Gantz’s office told the network that the quotes were “not exact,” without elaborating.

Gantz was reportedly taken aback by Abbas’ response, that “If the current government doesn’t want to accept the two-state solution on the basis of the 1967 borders, we will act to advance another solution — the 1947 Partition Plan.”

That plan, accepted at the time by Jewish leaders, but rejected by the Arabs, would have created a Jewish zone with indefensible borders, and allotted the Arabs much more territory than they now have.