Israel’s former military chief Benny Gantz has issued what appeared to be a call for Israeli voters to reject his own party in Monday’s general election.
“Take your friends and neighbours. Don’t give up till the last minute,” he is heard saying in a video address. “Do not cast the Blue and White ballot in the ballot box.”
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu tweeted out the clip with the tongue-in-cheek caption, “Listen to Benny Gantz”.
תקשיבו לבני גנץ. עוד מנדט לליכוד ואנחנו מנצחים pic.twitter.com/yM5lsC9Bcu— Benjamin Netanyahu (@netanyahu) March 2, 2020
Gantz in response claimed that the video had been “edited” and accused his rival of taking his comments out of context and spreading falsehoods.
He shared what he called the full clip, in which he appeared to say, “If you’re not going to cast the Blue and White ballot in the polling station, you’ll have a fourth election.”
Netanyahu and Gantz failed to deliver a convincing victory in last year's April and September general elections. This led to the Knesset being unable to form a governing coalition and resulted in a hung government.
The most recent polls project Netanyahu’s Likud tied with Gantz’s Blue and White party with 34 Knesset seats each. Their respective blocs are set to win 57 and 56 seats, a result that brings no clear winner again.