'If Begin were alive, he would have thrown Netanyahu out'

Blue and White chief Benny Gantz accuses Prime Minister of selling out to the 'far-right' in bid to retain power.

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

Binyamin Netanyahu at Menachem Begin Heritage Center, March 11 2019
Binyamin Netanyahu at Menachem Begin Heritage Center, March 11 2019
Yonatan Sindel/Flash90

Blue and White party chief and former IDF chief of staff Benny Gantz excoriated Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on Monday, accusing him of selling out the Likud party to “radical extremists” in a bid to retain a right-wing majority in the Knesset.

Writing on Facebook Monday on the 40th anniversary of the historic peace treaty between Israel and Egypt, Gantz claimed that former Prime Minister and founder of the Herut party – a forerunner of the Likud – Menachem Begin would not have tolerated Netanyahu within the party.

“With Begin in power, Netanyahu would have long ago been dismissed from the Likud. We now mark 27 years since the passing of Menachem Begin and 40 years since the peace agreement between Israel and Egypt, signed by Begin and Sadat.”

“As a young soldier, I was fortunate enough to secure Sadat's convoy during his visit in Israel, at a time when hope spread through an entire generation.”

Gantz accused Netanyahu of aligning himself with the legacy of Rabbi Meir Kahane – a reference to Netanyahu’s support for a deal brining the Otzma Yehudit party into a joint ticket with the Jewish Home. Otzma Yehudit is led by students of Rabbi Kahane, including Michael Ben Ari, Itamar Ben-Gvir, and Baruch Marzel.

“But we have to be honest - Menachem Begin would not have been welcomed in Netanyahu's Likud. He would have been called an enemy of the state. How would Netanyahu's deceitful and inciting videos against Begin have played out? Begin was an Israeli patriot, a founder of the Herut Party, a humble and rooted man of the Right who opposed Kahane, defended democracy, maintained security and strived for peace.”

“The legacy left behind by Begin is one that unites and brings the people together- not one which incites, divides and tears them apart. With Netanyahu, [National Union MK Betzalel] Smotrich will become the Minister of Education. Yesterday, we heard his plans for the Israeli education system. I think he's more credible than Netanyahu, who claims he won't appoint him. Netanyahu will do everything it takes to hold on to his seat- while sacrificing our children's education and entrusting it in the hands of the most extreme extremists. We will not allow it.”