White Knight:
Benny Gantz insulates Arab MKs from criticism

Blue and White Chair strongly attacks PMs words at Likud rally: 'Instead of scare tactics, let's talk. Instead of inciting, let's talk.'

Hezki Baruch ,

Elad Malka

Blue and White Chairman MK Benny Gantz opened today's faction meeting with a sharp attack on Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's remarks last night at the Likud rally.

"Throughout the meetings of our negotiating teams and Likud's and mine with Netanyahu, we realized that we were talking to the wall. Talking to a bloc," said Gantz.

He said, "In the last two days, the hysteria broke new records. We got up on Saturday morning and found out we were in an emergency, no more, no less. Danger. A terrorist attack. Not because we are being dragged into elections for the third time. Not because of rockets landing in Sderot and Be'er Sheva. And not because of the patients lying in the corridors of the hospitals. We have received, all citizens of Israel - an ugly and dangerous show of hypocrisy, lies, and incitement before us.

"On this background I'd like to say clearly: I too have disputes with the Arab Knesset Members. But the fight against them in the last few days must stop. And you, Netanyahu, need to issue a retraction, and immediately. Leaders should give hope," he added.

Gantz called on Netanyahu to come and negotiate directly, honestly, and genuinely, "Instead of scare tactics - let's talk. Instead of inciting and dividing - let's talk. Let's sit down and reach a compromise that will truly serve all Israeli citizens. That will allow a broad and liberal unity government to be established, as the public wants. That will allow us to serve the public. Let's work together for the security of Israel, for the unity of the people, for the protection of state institutions. For the elderly, the youth, the disabled, and the sick. All those whose eyes are raised to hope for a better reality. It's not too late."

MK Yair Lapid addressed Netanyahu, "Have you gone quite mad? Will you then recruit Khamenei for your campaign? If anything happens to one of the people sitting here in the room - it's Bibi. He did it. He shouldn't go on TV later to tell how shocked he is. It's Bibi. This is his incitement. What's come out of Bibi Netanyahu's mouth in recent days is incitement to violence. These are texts of Baruch Goldstein's followers, not of a prime minister. What he said about Arab citizens of Israel is unforgivable racism."

MK Moshe (Boogie) Ya'alon said, "The most correct and logical thing at the moment is to let those who won the elections - Benny Gantz - Chairman of the largest Knesset faction, assemble a liberal unity government based on Blue and White and the Likud. Gantz will be first, and Netanyahu, who is entangled in his affairs, or his Likud replacement, will be second.

"According to the election results, 55 seats are supported by Netanyahu, and 65 are opposed to his continued tenure as prime minister. Netanyahu led to elections, which he has already lost and failed twice in forming a government, and now Blue and White is the largest faction in the Knesset. With us, the call for unity isn't a political constraint, but the order of the day! Yes, Israel first of all! Even before Netanyahu!"

MK Gabi Ashkenazi added, "The country is already burning. Incitement raises its head. I demand that you retract what you have said. Stop using the security of Israel and IDF soldiers as a tool for political rigging. Don't forget what Gideon said in a book of Judges: 'Look at me and thus shall you do.' A leader must set a personal example. This is how we were educated. Also you. In your remarks last night you sent a dangerous message. I appeal to the people of values in the Likud. I've known you for many years. Do not lend a hand to incitement. Don't stand by. After all, there's a country to take care of. We're determined, even today, to establish a good government for the citizens of Israel."