Expert: Gantz's speech an attempt to emulate Trump

Dr. Baruch Leshem analyzes Benny Gantz's first speech: He does not have it.

Benny Tocker,

Benny Gantz
Benny Gantz
Gili Yaari/Flash 90

Dr. Baruch Leshem of the Department of Politics and Communications at Hadassah Academic College and author of the book "Benjamin Netanyahu - Master of Political Marketing" watched Benny Gantz's first speech and was not impressed.

"At the end of the day, the question is how viewers see the leader on the small screen. Netanyahu takes everyone to school," he told Arutz Sheva in an interview on Thursday.

Gantz, said Dr. Leshem, tried to imitate the American political candidates, but did so with limited success. "The scenery and the speech were all like in America. On the advice of the marketing experts, he took with him a sympathetic public. His movements were a perfect imitation of Trump, who lifts a different hand each time. Gantz imitated him with the punch lines that had been written to him and were also shown on the screen.”

“Gantz is photogenic but on the other hand there is no new star here. He lacks the elements of politicians that do well on television, such as Clinton, Netanyahu and even Lapid, who radiate power and extraordinary charisma that attracts viewers. When you see Gantz, you do not say ‘this is the next prime minister,’” opined Leshem, who told Arutz Sheva that the timing of Gantz’s first speech was good, but questioned whether this would last until election day in April.

"On the one hand, the public is always waiting for someone new to clean the stables. That is what led Lapid to 19 Knesset seats in 2013 and then to Kahlon’s success. Gantz also came in at the right time, but the question is whether he will be durable for long. He has a clear advantage in that Netanyahu might get a recommendation for an indictment. The question is whether that will be enough to be prime minister.”

“The media is hostile to Netanyahu and embraces Gantz, but I would advise him not to run around the studios or at press conferences because he will start to lose altitude. He had unsuccessful interviews in the past and does not have the determination of a leader. Even the texts in this speech seemed as though he was reading them and it did not flow like it does when Netanyahu speaks. So without a sympathetic audience behind you and bombastic scenery you cannot issue a clean appearance. It is best to expose him as little as possible and leave him out of the spotlight.”

Listen to the full interview with Dr. Baruch Leshem (in Hebrew):