Israel’s parliament yesterday beefed up the security detail protecting Benny Gantz, the main electoral challenger to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, after deeming various death threats against Gantz to be credible.
The threats came in the wake of last week’s volatile and inconclusive election, in which Netanyahu was unable to capture the parliamentary majority needed to form a government.
Gantz revealed that a man tried to assault him Saturday evening as he arrived at a speaking engagement, and that Netanyahu supporters have been threatening him online. One post called for Gantz to be murdered just like former Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, who was assassinated by a Jewish ultra-nationalist in 1995. Another portrayed him and his fellow party leaders in Arab headdress, similar to images that circulated of Rabin before he was killed.
In his comments, Gantz vowed to unseat Netanyahu with a more worthy leadership and warned the prime minister to tamp down his divisive rhetoric before it was too late.
“Netanyahu: The public atmosphere and the threats worry every national leader,” he said, pointing his finger forward. “The incitement is raging everywhere and you are silent.”
“I won’t allow you to sow fear. I won’t allow you to turn man against his brother. I won’t allow you to bring about modern Israel’s first civil war in return for a ticket out of your trial,” he added.