While surprises in Israeli elections are nothing new, the ending to Israel’s unprecedented third election in one year seems to be one of the biggest surprises of all. Benny Gantz’s Blue and White party, which has been leading the Likud for most of this election cycle has suddenly dipped below the Prime Minister’s party for the first time in final polls.
So what’s going on? After all, Prime Minister Netanyahu is under indictment. How can an ex-general with the entire main stream Israeli media behind him all of the sudden begin dropping in the polls?
Two things have occurred.
Gantz Is Either Corrupt or Incompetant
The first one is that a new investigation has now opened up into Benny Gantz’s former company Fifth Dimension. There are strong suspicions of wrong doing on the part of people in the now out of business security firm.
The following is from a report in the Times of Israel:
The suspicions against Fifth Dimension focus, first, on a NIS 4 million ($1.1 million) grant given to the firm by the police for a pilot project using the firm’s ostensible tech capabilities, after company executives allegedly provided law enforcement officials with misleading information. The preliminary grant was intended to become part of a NIS 50 million ($14.6 million) contract. That contract was not finalized.
According to a State Comptroller’s report released shortly before the April 2019 election, the Israel Police negotiated the NIS 4 million grant with the cybersecurity company without issuing a tender, in violation of acquisition regulations.
Interestingly enough the Chief of Police that began the investigations against Bibi Netanyahu, Roni Alshich was heavily involved with helping Gantz’s firm secure the contract with the police.
So why does this matter? People aren’t stupid. They see the hypocrisy in indicting Netanyahu while ignoring the investigation into Gantz firm, especially when the investigation into Netanyahu was sparked by a police chief that had something to do with helping Gantz’s firm.
Gantz was billed as Mr. Clean. Now, with just days to go before the election Gantz is either corrupt or incompetent.
“A danger to the People of Israel”
The second thing that has happened to Benny Gantz was a leaked recording of Israel Bachar telling an acquaintance that Benny Gantz is “A danger to the People of Israel.” Bachar was fired by Gantz for the recording.
The problem is, the recording was explicit and was played across all media outlets. One has to remember there is a centrist streak to the Gantz list or at least that is the wrapping the campaign wants. The assumption by right wingers and centrists has always been that Gantz would control the more virulently leftwing members. If thats not the case, then a vote for him would bring the danger of a Lapid controlled party to power – something most center-right voters do not want.
So with just a day before the Israeli elections, Blue and White’s mask is falling off and people are beginning to have second thoughts about voting for the man whose myth is becoming undone.
Like I have written elsewhere. These elections are a defining moment for Israel. Will the old guard, which controls Israel through the Deep State at the judiciary and police as well as through the media be able to take back the elected government or will Israel’s path forward as laid out by Netanyahu and the national camp be able to chart a new course for the country? This third election may not result in a clear winner, but it may prove that Israel is once and for all no longer reversing course.