Benny Gantz
Benny GantzElad Malka

Defense Minister Benny Gantz spoke on Monday evening at a celebration marking three years since the establishment of his Blue and White Party, outlining his next goals in politics and presenting the conditions for him staying in the Bennett-Lapid government.

Gantz said that when he decided to enter politics at the end of 2018, the polls predicted a victory for Benjamin Netanyahu. "A few months later - the result was a historic political change. The creation of a new camp. There are those who have seen and still see it as an anti-Bibi camp – but I see and have seen it as the statesmanlike and centrist camp."

"In the first phase, we prevented Netanyahu from forming a 'government of disaster' three times," said Minister Gantz. "In the second stage, we saved democracy, took half of the government after more than a decade, and mobilized, despite all the difficulties and dilemmas, in the shadow of a severe pandemic. We mobilized while taking all the risks because that is called putting Israel first and foremost - even before political interests, even if we knew that Netanyahu would not likely implement the rotation agreement."

"Because when the country is in trouble - I enlist, I have done so all my life - in contrast to those who constantly looked at themselves, who were willing to abandon Israeli democracy at the height of a severe pandemic that threatened and still threatens us. Who did not understand the importance of the time and the opportunity for change, which came as a result of this move."

"In the third stage, which we are in now - we are a key part of leading the country, stabilizing and designing the system. And we will be there as long as this path continues, we will strengthen it and act against anyone who tries to dismantle the government from the margins - with freedom of vote, with statements and with socially and politically irresponsible actions."

Gantz said that "Blue and White entered this government by choice, wants and works for its success, and will remain in it as long as it serves the citizens of Israel faithfully and as long as it maintains a statesmanlike balanced and responsible line. I am doing everything I can to make it so."

He admitted that he would like to transfer the Education and Agriculture ministries to his party. "Education comes first. This is the basis for our ability to live here, to develop the economy, to maintain security. We fought for education to remain open during COVID-19, we strengthened the youth movements, and also within the IDF I am working these days to expand the Mechina project and programs to integrate graduates from the periphery in elite and technological units. I intend to do my best to transfer the education portfolio to Blue and White and also to receive the agriculture portfolio."

The Blue and White chairman did not hide his dream of becoming Prime Minister of Israel, saying, "Only a central party, and a broad coalition, can eventually lead to the healing of the rifts, the regulation of issues of religious and state, the strengthening of trust in state institutions, security and peace. Upon us and within us."

"This is the big mission, and I intend to reach that goal for which I entered politics, and yes, it goes through the Prime Minister, and ultimately the leadership of the state," Gantz said.