Gantz addresses Conference of Presidents
Gantz addresses Conference of Presidentsspokesperson

National Unity party chairman Minister Benny Gantz addressed the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations today (Sunday) and discussed the war against Hamas and criticized international attempts to impose a Palestinian state at this time.

Gantz began his remarks by saying that "Our home is under attack. Today, and since October 7th - We have all come together to defend it."

"October 7th was a vile display of our enemy’s inhumanity," he said. "What followed, were waves of antisemitism around the world, on the streets and campuses, leaving us with one clear takeaway."

Gantz called for the formation of "a joint advocacy task force making the case for Israel."

"A ray of light during these hours of darkness has been the Israeli-American alliance, – that has proven itself stronger than ever," he said. "Our alliance has been tested three times before – in 48’, 73’ and 2023. Never will we forget President Biden’s friendship during the days following October 7th – the military backing, the diplomatic support and his clear message to our enemies - “Don’t”."

"When we say “Together we will win” – we mean also together with our American partners – Republicans and Democrats alike, and together with other international leaders, supporting our moral duty to remove the threat of Hamas and bring our hostages’ home.

Gantz declared, "There has not been a more just war than the one we are fighting, and yet – there has not been one fought under more complex conditions."

"Hamas terrorists hide in tunnels deep underground, they hide in hospitals and in the headquarters of humanitarian organizations.

"Contending with these war crimes, our forces have shown not only inspiring determination but creative innovation. We are paying a heavy price, but we are winning - dismantling depot after depot, tunnel after tunnel," he said.

"We cannot afford a different outcome – We must win this war. For that to happen – we need time.

He warned, "The world must know, and Hamas leaders must know – if by Ramadan our hostages are not home – the fighting will continue to the Rafah area."

"We will do so in a coordinated manner, facilitating the evacuation of civilians in dialogue with our American and Egyptian partners to minimize civilian casualties.

"But to those saying the price is too high – I say this very clearly: Hamas has a choice. They can surrender, release the hostages, and this way the citizens of Gaza can celebrate the holy holiday of Ramadan.

"Let me be clear, we are operating in Gaza not out of revenge for October 7th, but out of a clear conviction to secure our future – the future of Israel’s next generations. We will continue fighting, in any scenario, until we achieve our goals.

He said, "On the northern front as well – we will fulfil our objectives and drive Hezbollah away from our towns."

According to Gantz, an Israeli victory would consist of four elements.

"The First – A military victory. Removing the threat Hamas & Hezbollah pose to our communities. The Second – the return of our hostages. The Third – A diplomatic victory. Replacing the Hamas regime completely. A deep change in the Palestinian education system, the uncompromising removal of content preaching terror and Israel-hate.

"The day the textbooks of Gaza and Judea & Samaria will look like those of our Emirati friends, will be the day we’ll know we share a brighter future in the Middle East.

"This victory goes hand in hand with our will to expand the circle of peace and form a united regional axis facing Iran. For that reason, the normalization process with Saudi Arabia is an important endeavor we must pursue - and I am personally working towards it.

"I believe this step can be part of the solution, provided that Israel can maintain military superiority across the region.

He asked those gathered "to emphasize to our friends around the world – After the October 7th , the pathway to regional stability and peace is not through one-sided actions like recognition of a Palestinian State."

"It is through facilitating long-term processes that will consolidate a regional architecture facing the Iranian axis of terror, and by advancing international arrangements that will improve the lives of people throughout the region and promote stability and peace.

"The Fourth element," he said, is "the restoration of our resilience.

"I bow my head for what happened on October 7th, but I am incredibly proud of what we have achieved since," he said. "Having said that, I also recall what came before it. Division, arguments between religious and secular on Yom Kippur. Conversations on The “State of Israel” & “State of Yehuda”. October 7th served as a painful wake-up call not just in terms of security, but socially between us."

"All of us – citizens of Israel and the People of Israel must commit to not only learn to live together but embrace the togetherness. Not because of the threats our enemies pose, but out of commitment to our Zionist vision. Out of love and in solidarity for our Brothers and Sisters," Gantz said.