writes in YNet News:
Former IDF chief and the leader of the Israel Resilience Party Benny Gantz made his first political statement on Monday morning, promising to work to amend the controversial Nation-State Law to make it more inclusive for the country’s minorities.
Gantz has kept his own counsel since his retirement from the IDF in 2015 and has remained quiet about his political positions even after registering his party for the upcoming Israeli elections. Many have waited to hear where he stands on the political spectrum, and his prolonged silence has led to speculations about his reasons for not speaking out.
On Monday, Gantz welcomed a group of demonstrators protesting the Nation-State Law, at his home in Rosh HaAyin. The contentious law defines Israel as the nation-state of the Jewish people as well as ends Arabic’s status as an official language of Israel, leading critics to claim it is discriminatory against Israel’s minorities.
“We have a blood alliance, but just as importantly, we have a life alliance. We need to make sure that we build this partnership and this alliance together, as it should be,” Gantz said to the protesters, members of Israel’s Druze minority. The Nation-State Law was met by fierce opposition from the Israeli Druze community, who argue that their years of loyalty to the state, including military service, have been met by discrimination and insult.
“I will do all in my power to work to amend the legislation, so it will give expression to this bond, the deep bond that cannot be severed—not just in battle, but also in life; not just in difficulties, but also in good times. We’ll do this together,” he said.
Gantz’s comment was met with criticism from the right. The ruling Likud Party issued a statement saying that “When Gantz attacks the Nation-State Law, and Tzipi Livni congratulates him on that, everyone knows the obvious: Gantz is left, just like Lapid.”