Israeli Minister Benny Gantz Calls For New Elections

(Photo by Amir Levy/Getty Images)

Ilan Hulkower Contributor
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Benny Gantz, a member of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s wartime government, called on the government Wednesday to hold new elections in September, The Jerusalem Post reported.

“What Israel needs is ‘quiet in the ballot box, not flames in the streets,'” Gantz said during a press conference Wednesday evening in reference to an anti-government protest Tuesday that turned violent, the outlet noted. (RELATED: Netanyahu Reportedly Rebukes War Cabinet Minister For Making US Trip ‘Without Authorization’)

Gantz mentioned in his speech that such an election should come in the month of Sept. and made vague remarks when pressed on whether he planned to leave the government if they did not accept his new election proposal, the outlet noted. “We will do everything for our proposal to be accepted. I will not detail what Netanyahu said in response,” Gantz said, The Jerusalem Post reported.

Gantz and the faction he leads joined the government in the aftermath of the Oct. 7 massacre. In exchange for forming the national unity government, Gantz became a member of the small war cabinet directing the ongoing Israel-Hamas War. Gantz formally has the title of minister-without-portfolio, according to the Jewish News Syndicate.

Gantz’s comments come amid similar suggestions by some in the American government. Democratic Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer issued a similar call for new elections in Israel in a March 14 speech where he labeled the current Israeli government and its supporters one of the major “obstacles to peace.” Gantz in the immediate aftermath of that speech said it was “a mistake” for Schumer to suggest such things.

Schumer later appeared to reverse his position, now backing Gantz’s remarks in a tweet. “When a leading member of Israel’s war cabinet calls for early elections and over 70% of the Israeli population agrees according to a major poll, you know it’s the right thing to do,” the Democrat tweeted.

Member of Knesset Yair Lapid, the head of the opposition in Israel, responded to Gantz’s recent statement by tweeting in Hebrew that the country “cannot wait another six months” for elections and that the government needs to go now.

The Likud, the leading party in the government coalition, did not look kindly on either proposal. “At a fateful moment for the State of Israel and amid a war, Benny Gantz must stop dealing in petty politics just because of the breakup of his party,” the party said, according to The Jerusalem Post.