Benny Gantz

Israeli general and politician (born 1959)

Benjamin "Benny" Gantz (Hebrew: בנימין "בני" גנץ; born 9 June 1959) is an Israeli politician and general. In March 2020, Gantz was elected Speaker of the Knesset. He was the 20th Chief of General Staff of the Israel Defense Forces from 14 February 2011 to 16 February 2015.[1][2] In May 2020, he became the Alternate Prime Minister of Israel.

Benny Gantz
1st Alternate Prime Minister of Israel
In office
17 May 2020 – 13 June 2021
Prime MinisterBenjamin Netanyahu
Preceded byOffice established
Succeeded byYair Lapid
Ministerial roles
2020–Minister of Defense
2021Minister of Justice
2021–Deputy Prime Minister
Faction represented in the Knesset
2019–Blue and White
Military roles
2011–2015Chief of the General Staff
Other roles
2020Speaker of the Knesset
Personal details
Benjamin Gantz

(1959-06-09) 9 June 1959 (age 64)
Kfar Ahim, Israel
Political partyBlue and White (2019-present)
Alma materTel Aviv University
Haifa University
National Defense University
Military service
Allegiance Israel
Branch/service Israel Defense Forces
Years of service1977–2015
RankRav Aluf
UnitParatroopers Brigade
AwardsCommander of the Legion of Merit (United States)

Gantz was set to become Prime Minister on 17 November 2021,[3] however after a coalition government was formed in June 2021, Naftali Bennett became prime minister with Yair Lapid as the alternate.

Since 13 June 2021, Gantz has been both justice minister and deputy prime minister in the Bennett-Lapid Government.

Early life change

Gantz was born in Kfar Ahim, Israel, in 1959. His mother Malka was a Holocaust survivor.[4][5] His father was arrested by the British authorities for trying to enter Palestine illegally. His parents were among the founders of Moshav Kfar Ahim, a cooperative agricultural community in south-central Israel.[6]

He has a bachelor's degree in history from Tel Aviv University, a master's degree in political science from the University of Haifa, and an additional master's degree in National Resources Management from the National Defense University in the United States.

Chief of the General Staff change

On 13 February 2011, the Israeli government unanimously approved Gantz to be the next IDF chief of staff.[7] Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stated in the weekly Cabinet meeting in Jerusalem that Gantz was an "excellent officer and experienced commander, and had rich operational and logistical experience, with all the attributes needed to be a successful army commander".[8]

In his first year as Chief of the General Staff, Gantz appointed the IDF's first-ever female major-general, Orna Barbivai.[9][10]

In July 2011, Gantz appointed a special committee to talk about a controversy that had started after a concerning mention of the word Elohim, "God", in the military Yizkor prayer. The committee determined that a passage should read Yizkor 'Am Yisrael, "May the Nation of Israel remember", and not Yizkor Elohim, "May God remember". Gantz supported the committee's ruling.[11]

Gantz commanded the IDF when it fought against Palestinian factions in Gaza[12] and Operation Protective Edge.

Business career change

Gantz was the chairman of the Fifth Dimension which specialized in tracking via smartphone spyware.[13] The company closed due to financial reasons.[14][15]

Party founder change

In December 2018, he created a new political party named Israel Resilience (Hosen L'Yisrael).[16][17] The party later merged with Telem and Yesh Atid to form Kachol Lavan.[18]

2020 election change

On 20 April 2020, Gantz and Benjamin Netanyahu announced an agreement on a unity government had been reached following the 2020 legislative election. The deal would involve both parties splitting power and Gantz and Netanyahu taking turns being prime minister. The deal says Gantz will be Vice Prime Minister until October 2021, by then he will become Prime Minister.[19]

Knesset speaker change

On 26 March 2020, Gantz was elected as Knesset speaker, replacing Likud's Yuli-Yoel Edelstein who resigned. He vowed that he would not serve under 'corrupt leader' who faces criminal charges.[20]

Netanyahu-Gantz Government change

On 17 May 2020, Gantz became Defense Minister and also Vice Prime Minister in the Netanyahu-Gantz Government.

Personal life change

Gantz is married to Revital, with whom he has four children. He lives in Rosh HaAyin.[21]

References change

  1. 1.0 1.1 "Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz Appointed 20th IDF Chief of the General Staff". Israel Defense Forces. 14 February 2011. Archived from the original on 17 October 2015. Retrieved 14 February 2011.
  2. Haaretz Service (14 February 2011). "Gantz takes over as IDF chief: I am ready to face the challenges". Haaretz. Retrieved 14 February 2011.
  3. Gil Hoffman (17 May 2020). "New Israeli government finally under way". The Jerusalem Post. Retrieved 18 May 2020.
  4. Aderet, Ofer (8 April 2013). "Israel commemorates Holocaust Remembrance Day". Haaretz.
  5. Winer, Stuart; Shmulovich, Michael (8 April 2013). "In Auschwitz, Israeli army chief vows to prevent a 'second Holocaust'". The Times of Israel.
  6. "גנץ ונתניהו נפגשו והתחברו למקורות ולשורשים". ערוץ 7.
  7. Ravid, Barak (13 February 2011). "Benny Gatz becomes IDF's 20th chief of staff". Haaretz. Retrieved 6 July 2011.
  8. Keinon, Herb (13 February 2011). "Gantz appointment as IDF chief sails through cabinet". The Jerusalem Post. Retrieved 6 July 2011.
  9. "Newly Appointed Head of the Personnel Directorate, GOC Northern Command, GOC Home Front Command". IDF Spokesperson's Unit. 26 March 2011. Archived from the original on 30 May 2011. Retrieved 1 June 2011. Brig. Gen. Orna Barbivay will be promoted to the rank of Major General and appointed Head of the Personnel Directorate, replacing Maj. Gen. Avi Zamir, who will end his service in the IDF.
  10. "Israeli military appoints first female major general". Monsters and Critics. Tel Aviv. Deutsche Presse-Agentur. 26 May 2011. Archived from the original on 24 June 2011. Retrieved 1 June 2011. The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) has promoted the first female major general in its 63-year history, a military spokesman announced Thursday night.
  11. Katz, Yaakov (4 August 2011). "IDF panel keeps God out of Yizkor prayer". The Jerusalem Post. Retrieved 17 August 2011. The IDF will retain the original wording of the Yizkor memorial prayer with 'Yizkor Am Yisrael' (May the People of Israel Remember), and not 'Yizkor Elohim' (May God Remember), a military committee tasked with ruling on the issue announced on Thursday.
  12. Yossi Arazi and Gal Perl Finkel, "Integrating Technologies to Protect the Home Front against Ballistic Threats and Cruise Missiles" Archived 2016-10-04 at the Wayback Machine, Military and Strategic Affairs, Volume 5, No. 3, December 2013.
  13. "NSO in talks to buy Israeli intelligence co Fifth Dimension". Globes. 11 November 2018.
  14. Hoffman, Gil. (16 December 2018). "Did Stormy Daniels cause Benny Gantz's Cyber Company to close shop?" Jerusalem Post website Retrieved 16 December 2018.
  15. "Israeli Startup Headed by Ex-top Security Officials Shuts Due to Link With Sanctioned Oligarch". Haaretz. 17 December 2018. Retrieved 6 January 2019.
  16. Moran Azulay (27 December 2018). "Benny Gantz registers new political party". Ynetnews.
  17. Wootliff, Raoul. "Surrounded by idioms: How campaign slogans get lost in English translation". Retrieved 2019-01-30.
  18. Staff writer. "United Gantz-Lapid party to be called 'Blue and White'; no women in top 6". The Times of Israel. Retrieved 21 February 2019.
  19. Gil Hoffman (20 April 2020). "After 17-month stalemate, Netanyahu and Gantz strike unity deal". The Jerusalem Post. Retrieved 20 April 2020.
  20. "Benny Gantz elected Israeli speaker, signalling deal with Netanyahu" The Guardian
  21. "Benny Gantz, Netanyahu Rival, Gives Campaign Launch Speech – Full English Transcript". Haaretz. 30 January 2019. Retrieved 30 January 2019.

Other websites change