At launch of new alliance, Eizenkot emphasizes commitment to minority rights, separation from Palestinians

Jeremy Sharon is The Times of Israel’s legal affairs and settlements reporter

Gadi Eizenkot speaks at the launch of the National Unity Party, August 14, 2022. (Screenshot: Channel 12 news)
Gadi Eizenkot speaks at the launch of the National Unity Party, August 14, 2022. (Screenshot: Channel 12 news)

Former military chief Gadi Eisenkot emphasizes his commitment to minority rights and separation from the Palestinians, during a press conference launching the National Unity party on Sunday night, together with party leader and Defense Minister Benny Gantz and Justice Minister Gideon Sa’ar.

Eisenkot says the Jewish state “must provide for equal rights for all its citizens without regard for religion, race, or sex,” an implicit rebuke of far-right parties in the opposition who are antagonistic to Israel’s Arab population.

The former military chief adds that he believes Israel is sliding “dangerously” towards a bi-national state with the Palestinians, which he says poses “a danger to the Zionist project.”

Gantz says that his new centrist faction will seek to “prevent the formation of an extremist government” by the right-wing which would “endanger democracy in Israel,” and insisted that the ultra-Orthodox parties could be partners in a centrist government.

Saar, who is opposed to a two-state solution, papers over differences between him and Eisenkot over policy towards the Palestinians, saying neither a Palestinian state nor annexation of the West Bank by Israel will be achieved in the near future.

Instead, he says their focus will be on “reducing the conflict” with the Palestinians and increasing their self-governance.

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