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Right after Shabbat I got a phone call from my daughter who lives in Samaria. She and her husband are firmly on the Israeli Right. And this is what she tells me. She just heard Benny Gantz make an announcement on television and wow, how wonderful and isn’t it about time!

I’m thinking to myself: Huh? What? Gantz, who everyone just recently said was selling Israel out to Joe Biden? That Gantz?

So I hurried to see what he could possibly have said to produce such enthusiasm in my daughter. And this is what I found. While praising Israel’s soldiers who “are demonstrating supreme heroism at the front” he called out some government members for “behaving in a cowardly and irresponsible manner.” He wasn’t specific, complaining that “personal and political considerations have begun to permeate the holy of holies of Israel’s security.

“We must all understand and inwardly digest: It’s true that war is won through determination and power on the battlefield. It’s true that war is won out of love of Israel, commitment to the heritage of Israel, and devotion to the unity of Israel. Alongside this, war is won with a clear and realistic strategic compass. War is won when all Israelis make their contributions and take part in the war effort. War is won, and a long struggle is maintained, with true strength that is not based on divisiveness, contention, and vainglory. War is won with wisdom, daring, sacrifice, judgement, and robust national strength.”

Can’t argue with that. But then comes this, an ultimatum: “The war cabinet must formulate an action plan by June 8 that will lead to the attainment of six strategic goals of national importance:

  1. To bring the hostages home.
  2. To dismantle the rule of Hamas, to demilitarize the Gaza Strip, and to ensure Israeli security control.
  3. Alongside Israeli security control, to form a US-European-Arab-Palestinian administration that will run civilian affairs in the Gaza Strip and lay a foundation for a future alternative that is not Hamas and not Abbas [Palestinian Authority chairperson Mahmoud Abbas].
  4. To return the residents of the north to their homes by September 1 and rehabilitate the Western Negev.
  5. To advance normalization with Saudi Arabia as part of a general move to create an alliance with the free world and with the Arab world against Iran.
  6. To adopt a plan for service that will lead to all Israelis serving the country and contributing to the supreme national effort.”

I could see where the enthusiasm was coming from. A speech with a date and a deadline. Israelis have been feeling that we are marching in place without any progress for months now. But is the threat to bring down the government in the middle of the harshest fighting in Gaza really in the national interest? Or just another political ploy by Netanyahu’s enemies?

Netanyahu responded by saying Gantz had chosen to issue an ultimatum to the prime minister instead of to Hamas and called his conditions “euphemisms for Israel’s defeat.”

Gantz, a longtime political rival of Netanyahu, joined the coalition and the War Cabinet in the early days of the war in a gesture of national unity. His departure would leave Netanyahu even more beholden to far-right allies who take a hard line on negotiations over a ceasefire and hostage release, and who believe Israel should maintain control over Gaza and rebuild Jewish settlements there.

In the meantime, this disunity has given our enemies reason to celebrate.

After all the handwringing and threats over our invasion of Rafah –  in a similar manner to how Israel’s invasion of the al Shifa hospital was treated –  one can see what they were hiding in Rafah: 700 terror tunnels, 50 of them going into Egypt. Was Egypt all along cooperating with Hamas? They closed the border, but allowed the underground movement of people and weapons and who knows what else to keep on flowing. No wonder Egypt is angry enough to join the antisemites in the ICCJ!

And even as our hostages suffer underground, Israel is selling fruits and vegetables to Gaza, lowering the prices there. America is using its newly opened port to ship in truckloads of “humanitarian” aid.

This is why my daughter and I like Gantz’s speech. Enough already! I’m in favor of timelines. I’m in favor of deadlines. I’m in favor of clarity.

If only our government would stop issuing ultimatums to each other and finally issue a few to Hamas and Hizbollah.

It’s intolerable.

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9 comments on “GAZA WAR DIARY: 19 MAY 2024”

  1. Brenda Matsumura Reply

    I did not read today’s Diary as a pro-Gantz position at all. Yes, timelines and deadlines can be a great theoretically, but when massive numbers of Terrorists are involved, those ideals go out the window. What Arab Nation or any Nation, would want to insert themselves or invest where insane people rule, kill and refuse any dialogue at all. I, too, have been suspect of Egyptian involvement for some time. The rockets into.S. Israel and munitions began again after entering Rafah. Where else could it have come from? I understand today’s Diary.differently from the previous commenters. Prayers for the Peace of Jerusalem and all of the people of Israel.


    Hi Naomi
    Certainly sounds like a ploy to topple goverment.

    • Randi Reply

      I agree. It is clearly an American prompted ploy to get rid of Netanyahu. Also, who could trust Ganz or the Americans with knowing an “action plan”- they will use it to undermine Israel’s efforts. In full disclosure- I did not vote for Netanyahu and in one election I voted for Ganz but today I listen with suspicion at everything he says because he is a not so secret agent for the Biden administration.

  3. Sam Hilt Reply

    This is an odd blog post that doesn’t quite sound like you. “Israel is selling fruits and vegetables to Gaza, lowering the prices there.” Huh? Meanwhile, Gantz is the only one issuing an ultimatum. Yet, you accuse the politicians of “issuing ultimatums to each other” instead of putting the blame squarely on Gantz where it belongs for undermining the coalition.

    I read your War Diary every day, and this is the first post that I have read where it feels like your frustration may have gotten the better of you, and you are just swinging wildly.

  4. Sarah Reply

    Naomi, I do not understand your position. Gantz has been jockeying to replace Bibi from the beginning. His antipathy to him is obvious. He runs off to his pals in the US as though he were part of a fifth column instead of a member of the government. So he gives a nice spiel about unity and cohesiveness only to issue a deadlines with an “or else” ultimatum. How is this helpful? Where is your enthusiasm coming from? Please explain.

  5. דוב קרבי dov kravi Reply

    Dear Naomi, this is the first time I disagree with you.
    Benny Gantz poses an ultimatum to the government to which he belongs, demanding that the Gaza Strip be subsequently managed at least temporarily by the United States, the European Union and Arab states.
    Incredible claim, at least today, when we know that none of the parties cited by Benny Gantz wants to put even a toe in Gaza.
    The Israelis know what these international battalions are worth on the ground. The last war with Lebanon ended with a UN resolution promising Israel the withdrawal of Hezbollah 40 km from the border.
    This withdrawal was to be guaranteed by a specific United Nations force, UNIFIL.
    We know what happened, UNIFIL never fired a shot against Hezbollah, which immediately reinstalled itself on the border, armed and financed by Iran to wage a war in the form of a crime of war with rockets and kidnappings against Israeli civilians.
    UNIFIL watches, helplessly when it is not complicit, in Hezbollah’s abuses.
    To date, since October 7, several tens of thousands of Israeli civilians have even had to be evacuated, as northern Israel has become uninhabitable due to unilateral aggression by Hezbollah.
    How can a man as wise as Benny Gantz, former IDF chief of staff, pretend to believe that any international force could maintain order in Gaza?
    It is impossible for him to believe it and we must therefore see this new requirement dictated by the United States as an internal political maneuver.

    • Wes Hagglov Reply

      Dov…your comments to Naomi are correct…and I also disagree with Naomi for the first time…Mr Gantz is the problem…well said…

  6. Leah Reply

    I can’t help but wonder if the ultimatum is from Gantz or from the Biden/Blinken failure of am administration voiced by their ally Benny Ganz?

  7. minda l Reply

    kids, kid problems. adults, BIG problems. Are there any adults inthe room? (Knesset)

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