Mar 19, 2019

Gantz and the Haredi parties

The media is making a big deal about the exposure of a recording in which Benny Gantz is heard talking about being open to sitting with Netanyahu in a government after the elections. Gantz has had to respond and the media is keeping this story alive.

Gantz has really been on the defensive a lot recently and has been very reactive rather than proactive, and that is starting to show in the polls trending downward..Gantz has not been able to set the tone or lead the discourse, probably since the merger with Yesh Atid.

What I find more interesting than the discussion around sitting with Netanyahu is something else the recording caught him saying. That is, that he would go very far to include the haredim in his coalition. He said he would give them a blank paper signed by him and offer them to write whatever they want on 2/3 of the page and save 1/3 for him to write what he wants. Basically he'll give them whatever they want.

As an aside, I am wondering what would happen if what he writes in his 1/3 of the page contradicts what they write on their 2/3 of the page... who will give in to whom?

Anyways, I think this has the potential to really hurt him. Besides for supporting him to take down Bibi, another major reason many support him is to change the government and what people see as it being controlled by the Haredi parties. That is why they go far using slogans about promoting public transportation on Shabbos, supporting gay marriage, opening businesses on Shabbos, dealing with the draft issue, etc.

Potentially, if peole realize Gantz will basically give them everything, or almost everything, they want, they will stop supporitng Gantz as they will see him as being no different than Netanyahu and will realize they will not get their dreams fulfilled via Benny Gantz.

I would expect Labor to call out Gantz on this and promote this portion of the recordings and drive it home. They have the most to gain from it as perhaps they could potentially get back some of their voters who went to Gantz. In addition, Netanyahu could use it as well, showing that Gantz is really not much different and would do the same so might as well vote for the original rather than the copy, though Netanyahu risks upsetting his coalition partners if he does...

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