Likud Strongly Rebukes Gantz’ Call for September Elections

By Hamodia Staff

Head of the National Unity party Minister Benny Gantz holds a press conference at the Knesset, the Israeli parliament in Jerusalem, April 3, 2024. (Photo by Chaim Goldberg/Flash90)

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s Likud party called War Cabinet Minister Benny Gantz’ Wednesday call for new elections to be held in September “petty politics,” in a statement released shortly after Gantz’ announcement.

Gantz, who also is head of the National Union party and a long-time political adversary of Netanyahu, said in a broadcast statement that new elections were needed to “maintain unity” and “renew trust” in the government. “We must agree on a date for elections in September, about a year from the war,” Gantz said. His statements mark the first time he has called for new elections after joining the emergency government formed after Oct. 7.

“Setting such a date will allow us to continue the military effort while signaling to the citizens of Israel that we will soon renew their trust in us,” he continued, adding that new elections would help bolster Israel’s appearance on the world’s stage, and that he has spoken about the matter with Netanyahu.

For his part, Netanyahu has rebuffed previous calls for new elections from those within Israel and abroad, including last month’s speech by U.S. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer. The Prime Minister has said repeatedly that new elections would destabilize the country and prevent Israel from successfully meeting the war’s objectives, including the return of the hostages held by the Hamas terror group.

Netanyahu’s Likud party released a statement saying that the current unity government must stay in place “until all the goals of the war are achieved.

“At this fateful moment for the State of Israel and in the midst of a war, Benny Gantz must stop engaging in petty politics just because his party is disintegrating.

“Early elections will inevitably lead to paralysis (in the war) and (societal) division in addition to harming (the IDF’s goal to invade) Rafah and dealing a fatal blow to the chances of a hostage deal,” the statement continued.

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