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Gantz claims Netanyahu duped the Israeli public. That’s not what happened at all

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Announcing Tuesday night that his Blue and White party would vote for a preliminary motion to dissolve the Knesset — a threat he implemented on Wednesday afternoon — Benny Gantz issued a stinging indictment of the man with whom he chose to partner in government a mere 200 or so days ago.

In their brief coalition life together, charged Gantz, Netanyahu had proven himself “a serial breaker of promises.” He had lied about truly seeking national unity. He had lied when promising “no tricks or shticks” in a coalition deal that was supposed to see Gantz take over as prime minister next November. He had claimed personal credit for every success in Israel’s mixed battle against the pandemic, marginalizing the roles of everybody else in government, the civil service and the national health care apparatus. He had left Israel without a budget for all of 2020, and was holding up the 2021 budget, too — radically exacerbating the devastation caused by COVID-19 on Israel’s legions of broken-hearted businesspeople, its hundreds of thousands of newly jobless.

Netanyahu likes to compare Israel to the world’s leading nations, Gantz noted bitterly, but where else in the world would a prime minister be so irresponsible as to leave his country without a budget in the midst of a pandemic? The prime minister’s refusal to pass the budget, he charged, was a veritable “economic terrorist act.”

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The trouble with Gantz’s assault on the integrity and motives of his rival-partner-rival was that he delivered it as though it were revelatory. Yet his assertions that “Netanyahu reneges and the public pays,” that our prime minister is........

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