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Benny Gantz – an officer and a gentleman that can threaten Benjamin Netanyahu in Israel's parliamentary elections

The small community of Kfar Ahim is located six miles south of Tel Aviv and right next to a highway exit number 3. The village is deeply rooted in israeli history. It is built around a moshav. A kind of farmers ' cooperatives which will be supported on the same idea as kibbutzerna, but without the pronounced collective joint ownership.

in June 1959 as number three in a family of four. As well as the rest of the adult population in Kfar Ahim was his parents, Nachum and Malka, a survivor from the Holocaust.

" my Mother was born in Hungary and was liberated from the concentration camp Bergen-Belsen in the second world war. She spent one and a half years in Sweden before she decided to go with a boat to (then) Palestine. When the boat is moored in Italy she met dad.

" It tells släkthistorien for DN is Ad Yogiv, Benny Gantz six years younger sister. Ad Yogiv lives still remain in Kfar Ahim, where she along with her family manufactures high-quality olive oil.

Ad Yogiv has avoided the media before the election but will make an exception for DN when she is told that we are from Sweden, ”the country that saved the life of my mother”. She offers klimpsoppa and coffee in his kitchen and picks eagerly out the old pictures from the familjealbumet. The call disturbed sometimes by the low fighter plane from the nearby air wing.

Ad Yogiv with a photo of her, and Benny Gantz, the parents. Photo: Mehdi Chebil

simple conditions in Hungarian Transylvania, but it became quite quickly a prominent man in Israel. He was seen as a central figure within moshavrörelsen, was active within the Labour party and eventually became a diplomat in agriculture.

the little Sister of the Ad tells us that it was their father that pushed for that Benny would make military career:

– When Benny was old enough, dad took him out on the back of the house and they had a long conversation. Dad said: ”You know what we've gone through. If we are able to continue to exist, we must have protection and security. I know that you can help with it”.

There is no doubt that Benny Gantz listened carefully to the paternal prompts. After having done military service as a paratrooper, he began a military career which quickly led him upwards in the list, all the way to the generals degree.

Benny Gantz has been commander at various levels in six of Israel's wars and plan, including the two recent wars in Gaza.

at the same time has Gantz made use of the army's offers of professional development and gained academic degrees in history and political science. Between 2005 and 2009, he was Israel's militärattaché in Washington DC and in 2011, he was appointed by Benjamin Netanyahu to the military commander of Israel's army.

At the time, praised prime minister Netanyahu, Benny Gantz, ”the dynamics, capabilities, and experience of military operations”.

today, when Benny Gantz and his three Kahol Lavan, the ”white-Blue”, not only nafsar Netanyahu Likudparti in the heels, but also in some opinion polls is emerging as the largest party, is Benjamin Netanyahu not as benevolent anymore.

the Success in the polls is all the more remarkable given that the party does not even have half a year on the back of the neck

Success in the polls – according to the latest forecasts will be ”white-Blue” larger than Likud – is all the more remarkable given that the party does not even have half a year on the back of the neck.

the new year holidays as Benny Gantz announced that he is forming a new political movement, Hosen L'Yisrael (”Strength for Israel”). For less than two months ago, Hosen L'Yiseral together with the middle portion Yesh Atid and formed oppositionsfronten Blue and white.

In the election campaign has Netanyahu specifically focused on its competitors ' lack of routine in the international arena. Netanyahu has also made a large number of Benny Gantz cell phone, according to information leaked from the internal security service Shabak, shall have been hacked by a ”foreign power” (read: Iran).

the Intrusion can make Gantz susceptible to blackmail, says his opponent.

" If he (Gantz) can not keep track on their phone, how would he be able to manage Israeli foreign policy, was Benjamin Netanyahu comment.

But the Netanyahu camp has yet, despite intense efforts, failed to connect Benny Gantz to any really yummy scandal. The little that has been standing in the shade of Benjamin Netanyahu korruptionsexcesser.

But a closer look at what Benny Gantz says Israel's foreign policy, particularly the relationship with the palestinians, will find not really much that separates his conception from the Netanyahu Likudparti.

if want to negotiate about a palestinian state. He is for Israel's continued control over the west bank and retain its grip on Jerusalem, even the parts occupied.

Valalliansen ”Blue” is usually described as ”centristiskt” but measured with a Swedish scale, it is rather to the right. Something that is underlined by the bombastic kampanjfilmer where Benny Gantz profiled as a tough cookie who bombed Gaza ' back to the stone age”. In valpropagandan also highlights the number of palestinian ”terrorists” who were killed during the Gantz command in the latest Gazakriget, in the summer of 2014 – it was 1.364 pieces.

"Benny is tough but he is no skrythals," says the janitor Moshe Goldberger as the DN hits the outside of the municipal samlingshallen in Kfar Ahim. Goldbergers task is to set up the large blue ballot boxes to be used in Tuesday's election.

Goldberger prefers talking about Benny Gantz idealism and leadership qualities than on his krigsbravader. The janitor describes his old friend (”we've known each other the whole life”) as an officer and a gentleman.

Moshe Goldberger. Photo: Mehdi Chebil

and scandals in israeli politics right now. Benny wants to play with open cards. Therefore, I believe that he will attract voters, despite the fact that he is a newcomer in politics, " says Goldberger.

Yes, perhaps there is the answer to Benny Gantz political success out here in Kfar Ahim, ”Brothers 'village'. It is in any case what his sister Ad think.

" I don't want to talk bad about Benjamin Netanyahu. But I can say that my brother, despite their great success, always treated all people equally. We come from humble beginnings and have worked hard. We believe in the israeli institutions.

And so she tells us more about the links between her home village and Sweden – a story that we are told several times, in different versions, the day we spend in Kfar Ahim.

Soon after the village was founded in 1948-1949 we had the help from Sweden, who was completely invaluable. They saw to it that we were able to build over 70 homes here. And the amazing thing is that all the houses still standing despite the fact that they are almost 70 years old. I myself grew up in a ”svenskhus”, says the Ad Gantz and shows us enthusiastically annex to the family's large single-story.

Ad Yogiv outside of their ”svenskhus”. Photo: Mehdi Chebil

provides a background to the story: the organisation supporting refugees to Israel, where, among others, the socialist parliamentarian Carl Albert Andersson was driving, gathered years after the war in large sums from the trade unions - and arbetsgivarrörelsen. It was enough for 72 prefabricated wooden houses which were shipped to Kfar Ahim.

But as so often in this region, history has two sides. The palestinian arab village Qastina was where Kfar Ahim was established. Their inhabitants were expelled. A reminder of what Benny Gantz have to deal with if he wins Tuesday's election and can form a government.

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