Former IDF Chief Gantz: Israel obliged to strive for peace

Less than three weeks before Israel’s Parliamentary Elections, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu‘s strongest rival, former IDF Chief of Staff Benny Gantz, underscored his ambition to seek peace with the Palestinians but stopped short of endorsing their goal for statehood. In an interview with the domestic Hadashot TV news, General Gantz asserted that the Jewish state has a moral obligation to “strive for peace.” According to Lt. Gen. (Res.) Benny Gantz: “I believe that we have a moral obligation, a traditional one, one of heritage as a Jewish, Zionist and democratic state to seek peace and there is no shame in that.”

When asked whether his faction’s ultimate goal is the establishment of a Palestinian state, Gantz did not give a definitive answer although he did suggest that eventually Israel should separate from the Palestinians. His reply was: “At the end of the road there is a Jewish, democratic, safe and strong state with a solid Jewish majority and what happens on the other side would be an outcome of what happens at negotiations that we will hold when we get there.”

It is important to note that the United States, under President Donald Trump, is expected to unveil a new peace proposal, dubbed “the deal of the century,” after the April 9th Israeli election. While the contents of the American peace initiative remain classified for the most part, the Trump administration has wavered over whether it will endorse a Palestinian state, saying the final outcome will be up to the sides to determine, emphasizing on multiple occasions that “both sides will have to compromise.”