• D.C.
  • BXL
  • Lagos
  • Dubai
  • Beijing
  • SG
rotating globe
  • D.C.
  • BXL
  • Lagos
Semafor Logo
  • Dubai
  • Beijing
  • SG


Jun 10, 2024, 1:57pm EDT
Middle East
icon

Semafor Signals

What an Israeli government without Benny Gantz could look like

Insights from Forward, The Times of Israel, and Spiegel

Arrow Down
Israeli Minister Benny Gantz
REUTERS/Nir Elias
PostEmailWhatsapp
Title icon

The News

Israeli minister Benny Gantz resigned Sunday from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s emergency wartime government, heightening the country’s political crisis as ceasefire talks languish.

Gantz had threatened to resign if Netanyahu didn’t approve a plan for post-war Gaza by Saturday. He quit a day after Israel rescued four hostages held by Hamas in a daylight operation that killed more than 200 Palestinians.

AD

Gantz, Netanyahu’s political rival, is seen as a centrist in Israel, and his departure could alter how the government approaches the war, analysts say.

icon

SIGNALS

Semafor Signals: Global insights on today's biggest stories.

Gantz exit could embolden far-right coalition partners

Source icon
Sources:  
Forward, The New York Times, The Times of Israel

The loss of a moderating force like Gantz in the cabinet is likely to heighten the scrutiny on Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu from allies like the US, the Forward reported. “The government is losing the protective shield that Gantz provided,” an expert at the Center for Israel Studies at American University said. Gantz’s departure will in turn make Netanyahu more dependent on the right-wing members of the coalition government, including Itamar Ben-Gvir, the national security minister. Ben-Gvir is already relishing Gantz’s exit, calling it an “opportunity” and saying it’s time to “stop the fuel and humanitarian policy” in Gaza.

Another setback for potential ceasefire deal

Source icon
Sources:  
CNN, The Times of Israel, Spiegel

Gantz’s exit also diminishes the prospect of a hostage and ceasefire deal, analysts said. Gantz and the war cabinet’s third member, Defense Minister Yoav Gallant, have had “no qualms about disagreeing publicly with Netanyahu,” journalist Elliott Gotkine wrote for CNN, and would have potentially called him out if he blocked an agreeable deal for personal reasons. “With Gantz gone, that seems less likely.” Ben-Gvir and his hard-right allies have also staunchly opposed a deal, political analyst Shalom Yerushalmi wrote, calling Gantz’s decision to quit “misguided.” The US often sought out Gantz for ceasefire talks, seeing him as the “responsible adult” in the cabinet, Spiegel’s Israel correspondent wrote.

Semafor Logo
AD