Israel deserves a serious Netanyahu-Gantz policy debate


Rumors are that Gantz’s aides have told him to nix a debate with Netanyahu. Even the Democrat Party hopefuls faced their voters in a debate.

Dr. Aaron Lerner -

Dr. Lerner and his late father Dr. Joseph Lerner founded the Independent Media Review and Analysis (IMRA) government accredited news organization in 1992,which provides an ongoing analysis of developments in Arab-Israeli relations.

It does not matter why Mr. Netanyahu decided to propose a series of debates. The point is that the Israeli electorate deserve the opportunity to watch a serious policy debate between Netanyahu and Gantz before they vote.

And I mean policy debate.

Not 60 minutes of Mr. Gantz repeating like a broken record that Netanyahu cannot run the country and manage his defense in court at the same time with Mr. Netanyahu responding by citing Gantz’s glass house now that the Attorney General is investigating his failed company (see story at end of article)**.

And there is a lot to talk about.

Benny Gantz argues that Israel should not apply sovereignty over the Jordan Valley without Jordan’s consent and international approval. Benjamin Netanyahu says Israel will apply sovereignty once the American-Israeli team prepares the detailed “vision”map.

This difference in position stems from profound differences in their assessments of the strategic importance of applying sovereignty versus the potentially negative consequences of such a move.

I would also expect a debate to find the candidates drawn to clarify what kind of Palestinian entity they could accept and their vision of the extent that it is integrated with Israel.

Of course there is a lot more to talk about: economic policy, religion-state and other pressing concerns.

A debate would make an important contribution to the democratic process by inducing the electorate to think about the positions of the candidates before casting their vote.

Shame on Mr. Gantz if he denies the nation this opportunity as he has so far in refusing Netanyahu’s request for a debate.

**Benny Gantz’s Glass House

A company with no customers and no ready product got a NIS 4 million contract from the Israel Police because it claimed that it already had five customers and a ready product.

The company even claimed that it was in existence for four years when it was actually established just two years previously.

Benny Gantz, head of the Blue and White party, owned the now bankrupt company, Fifth Dimension, that got NIS 4 million in taxpayer’s money by grossly misrepresenting itself.

Last March the State Comptroller’s Office issued a report on the matter but it stayed pretty much a dead story.

In response to the High Court petition demanding a probe into Fifth Dimension, the state responded that it’s evaluating material and on February 20, the attorney general decided to open a criminal investigation of the company for alleged fraud. Gantz is personally not a suspect in the case and is not expected to be questioned under warning, but he may be summoned to provide an open testimony.

Gantz was involved in landing the ONLY business Fifth Dimension got and the lies about the company were crucial in having the tender process waived but the narrative is that Gantz was clueless that all of this was going on.



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