Israel’s Benny Gantz Resigns From War Cabinet

Former Defense Minister Benny Gantz announced his resignation from Israel’s war cabinet on Sunday due to the status of the war in Gaza. The announcement was postponed by a day due to the rescue of four hostages.

Reasons: Last month Gantz threatened to quit by June 8 if Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu failed to come up with a postwar Gaza strategy. He said he had joined the cabinet to make a “bad government” better.

Gantz claimed Netanyahu was making “total victory impossible” and was putting “political survival” over the return of the hostages. His solution called for Netanyahu to “set an agreed election date.”

Netanyahu responded: “This is not the time to abandon the battle—this is the time to join forces.” He urged the remaining war cabinet to remain focused, saying: “This is the time for unity and not for division. We must remain united within ourselves in the face of the great tasks before us.”

U.S. involvement? Relations between Netanyahu and United States President Biden have not been smooth. The U.S. has actively worked against Israel by funding protests and blocking a proper response to Hamas.

Yet Gantz, a long-time rival to Netanyahu, seems to get along well with the Biden administration. In March, the U.S. invited him to Washington while Netanyahu remained in Israel. Has the U.S. partnered with Gantz to remove Netanyahu from office?

Divided: While Gantz’s resignation is unsettling for Netanyahu’s coalition, it won’t bring it down. But it reveals a deep divide in Israel’s government during its greatest time of crisis.

To learn more about where that divide comes from, read our article “Israel: A Brother Betrayed.”