Netanyahu’s rival Gantz stands ‘shoulder to shoulder’ in fight against Iran

“I am standing shoulder-to-shoulder with Prime Minister Netanyahu in the fight against Iran’s aggression. I am certain he will do the same when I will be the prime minister of Israel,” Gantz declared.

By World Israel News Staff

The leading challenger to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in the April parliamentary election, former IDF chief of staff Benny Gantz, took the international podium on Sunday at a conference not attended by the Israeli leader.

Gantz made his comments in a side room, not in the main hall of the International Security Conference in Munich, where Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif had spoken just moments earlier. It was said to be Gantz’s first address outside of Israel and in English since recently entering politics, although, apparently, most of the reporters in the audience represented Israeli media.

Gantz took the statesmanlike position of backing the policy of the current prime minister on Iran and related security issues.

“It is no secret that Prime Minister Netanyahu is my political rival and we disagree on many issues,” Gantz said. “But make no mistake…when Israel’s security is under threat, there is no daylight between us…there is no right or left. There is no coalition or opposition. When it comes to defending Israel – we are united.”

The former Israeli chief of staff described Hezbollah as “the most dangerous terror organization in the world,” saying that the Iranian proxy “has more firepower than most NATO countries.”

“Iran threatens Europe, not just Israel,” he warned from the Munich stage.

In response to the Iranian foreign minister’s remarks at the conference that the “risk of war with Israel is great,” Gantz said that Zarif represents a regime that “seeks the extinction of the Jewish nation, hangs homosexuals, tortures women and minorities. Its regime destabilizes the Middle East and endangers world order.”

The military chief-turned-politician qualified his support for Netanyahu’s policy with a vow to replace him at the helm of the Israeli government.

“I am standing shoulder-to-shoulder with Prime Minister Netanyahu in the fight against Iran’s aggression; I am certain he will do the same when I will be the prime minister of Israel,” Gantz declared.

Netanyahu: Gantz is ‘jumping on the bandwagon’

Back in Israel, the prime minister ridiculed Gantz’s statements, accusing him of “jumping on the bandwagon.”

Speaking at the weekly cabinet meeting in Jerusalem, Netanyahu argued that he was the one who “had to face the whole world and also some of the heads of the security branches in Israel who said that the [nuclear] agreement [between world powers and Iran] is not terrible and that it is possible to see the cup as half-full. But I insisted, and my insistence brought about a historic change of course,” he stated.