Israelis are heading to their polling places for the second time this year, with Prime Minister and Likud party leader Benjamin Netanyahu running against IDF veteran General Benny Gantz. Writing at Ynet News, both Netanyahu and Gantz make their cases for leading the Jewish state into the future:
Tags: Benjamin Netanyahu Benny Gantz Elections Israel politics Ynet News
Citizens of Israel, we are at the height of historic change in the annals of the people of Israel and the State of Israel.
Last weekend, I spoke with President Trump and after a strenuous diplomatic effort, we agreed on promoting a historic defense alliance between Israel and the United States. This is another step in the historical transformation that I am leading.
For the past three decades, I have led a determined struggle against tremendous pressures, at home and abroad, to retreat to the 1967 lines that jeopardized our very existence.
I resisted the pressure of the Clinton and Obama governments, repaired the damage of the Oslo Accords and led the greatest decade in the history of the country in terms of security, political and economic.
Economic growth peaked, as did GDP, tourism and exports. Unemployment reached an all-time low. We connected the periphery to the center of the country through a network of roads and railways.
Recently, Israel was ranked as one of the 10 strongest countries in the world. This is a direct result of our determined leadership and informed policy.
We are halting Iran’s entrenchment in Syria, exposed the Iranian nuclear archive, worked to achieve the annulment of the Iranian nuclear agreement and the establishment of a tough sanctions regime against Iran.
The last decade had the lowest number of Israeli casualties from terrorist activity.
Now, after decades of resisting pressure, over the last two years we have been changing the direction of Jewish and Israeli history…
Election Day, even if it is something that the current government forced on us for the second time in six months, is a day of democracy.
I ask for your trust, first and foremost because I believe in our democracy and the ability to have an impact. I believe that we need something different and that is possible. I believe that after a decade of Netanyahu, Israel needs do something different. It needs to progress.
I was not parachuted into the role I currently hold, but grew into it. I have behind me decades of security service that culminated in serving as IDF chief of staff. These years of service took me to the corridors of the Pentagon, government ministries and the Knesset, and heading the organization with the largest budget in the State of Israel.
I have come a long way from the small religious moshav near Kiryat Malachi, via the Defense Ministry headquarters in Tel Aviv to establishing the only viable political alternative in a decade, which has reshaped the sectarian map in Israel.
I don’t think everything here is bad. Israel is a great country to live in, but in recent years something has happened.
The rifts are deepening, the gaps are widening and basic solidarity between us is unraveling: right against left, Jews against Arabs. The social fabric is torn.
At the same time, the gaps between the poor and the rich are among the biggest in the OECD. The deficit has grown beyond the planned rate by some NIS 20 billion, as a result of irresponsible political conduct, and in the field of security the state is abandoning the people of the south, and it is Yahya Sinwar and Hamas who set the agenda.
All of these things have not occurred on their own, but because this is the direction in which our leadership has taken us…