In NYC, Gantz says internal challenges just as pressing as Iran threat

Lazar Berman is The Times of Israel's diplomatic reporter

Participants attend the Jerusalem Post conference in New York on June 5, 2023 (Luke Tress/Times of Israel)
Participants attend the Jerusalem Post conference in New York on June 5, 2023 (Luke Tress/Times of Israel)

Speaking in New York, National Union party chief Benny Gantz says Israel’s internal challenges are just as pressing as the Iranian nuclear threat.

“These days Israel is transforming from a melting pot to a Nation of Tribes,”says the former Defense Minister at the annual Jerusalem Post conference.

“This is not necessarily a bad thing. Our mission is to ensure that our tribes live side by side, serve the needs of the country, and continue building Israel together.”

He says that in order for that to occur, Israel must “ codify new norms that allow for all of Israel’s communities to respectfully live together – a new Zionist Alliance expressing our shared commitment to make Israel a better home for all its citizens.”

In a possible dig at the Haredi parties, he also calls for “national decency,” what he describes as a civil agreement to distribute resources fairly according to need, not according to “ sheer political power.”

“We need all parts of society to contribute to our economy and support its development,” he says.

Gantz also calls for shifting power “from the extremes to the center” and for proper treatment of minorities.

Regarding external threats, Gantz says that coordination with the international community is key to stopping Iran. “Now is the time to do everything possible to reinforce our security cooperation with our most important ally – the United States of America,” he says.

“We cannot let tactical actions or internal politics hinder our security.”

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