Benny Gantz and his wife cast their votes on April 9. (Nir Keidar/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

US Jewry Wants to See Gantz Win

Ma’ariv, Israel, April 8.

They are setting their eyes on Israel, carefully waiting for the election results to be published. They are hoping for change. They are praying for new leadership. When I say “they,” I am referring to the Jewish establishment in the United States. This establishment consists of community leaders, rabbis, academics and businessmen and women. Some of them are Democrats and some are Republicans. Regardless, the vast majority of them agree that Israel needs a new leader; that it is time for Binyamin Netanyahu to pack his bags and go home. By and large, members of this establishment follow the age-old belief that American Jews should refrain from intervening in Israeli domestic politics. But they, too, have had enough. They, too, have come to understand that the identity of the person sitting in the Prime Minister’s Office in Jerusalem bears direct impact on their lives in the States. Most of these men and women don’t really care about Netanyahu’s corruption cases. Few of them have heard of the recent scandal with the German submarines. What they are worried about is the growing rift between the Jewish community in America and that in Israel. The main culprit in this fiasco is Netanyahu himself. If Bibi were to compete for premiership in the States, he wouldn’t even be able to pass the threshold of votes necessary to enter the Knesset. The vast majority of people I have spoken with, even those who consider themselves security hawks, hope that a new government will emerge. American Jews are craving an Israeli leader who will care about the Jewish Diaspora. They want an Israeli leader who will accept their kind of Judaism. They want an Israeli leader who will bring the Palestinians to the negotiating table. They want an Israeli leader who can unite both Democrats and Republicans in favor of the one and only Jewish State. In short, American Jews are craving a Gantz victory in this week’s election. – Shlomo Shamir

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