JERUSALEM (JTA) – Benny Gantz took Israel’s political world by storm just weeks ago when he announced the formation of his own Israel Resilience Party. The former general’s party was polling in the high teens, just as Yair Lapid’s Yesh Atid did when his party stormed onto the scene ahead of the 2013 elections.
But neither centre-left leader appeared to pose a serious threat to Benjamin Netanyahu, whose right-wing coalition appeared unbeatable.
But in the early hours of Thursday morning Gantz and Lapid dropped a bombshell, and agreed that they would be stronger together than they would be individually. Putting aside rivalries and differences, they announced a new Israeli party along with Moshe “Bogie” Ya’alon, like Gantz a former chief of staff of the Israel Defense Forces.
Ya’alon’s Telem Party combined with Gantz’s late last month. And to sweeten the pot, another former head of the IDF, Gabi Ashkenazi, announced that he, too, would join the new joint list. [Read more…]