Netanyahu May Not Win Re-election: Here's Who Could Be Israel's Next Prime Minister

Israel will hold elections on April 9 and Benny Gantz, a former general and centrist candidate who claims to be strong on security, is proving to be a serious challenger to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. 

If he wins in the upcoming election next week, Netanyahu will go on to be the longest serving prime minister in Israel’s history. But Israel’s attorney general has suggested that Netanyahu, even if he is re-elected, could be indicted in a series of corruption cases shortly thereafter. A pretrial hearing is set for shortly after the elections, and there is little chance that Netanyahu will not be indicted.

Gantz, meanwhile, is running a successful campaign to demonstrate that Netanyahu, who has increasingly aligned with the far-right, isn’t the only leader who can keep the country safe. Recent polls suggest that Gantz’s party is leading by around 4 seats.

Gantz is a 59-year-old former chief-of-staff of the Israeli Defense Forces with a long history in the military. When he was named IDF chief in 2011, Netanyahu sung his praises and called Gantz’s family history the “life story of our people.”

“Your mother, Malka–of blessed memory–was in the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp, and on the day of the liberation of the death camp weighed 28 kilograms… I am convinced that she certainly dreamed of one thing, she dreamed about a piece of bread, about the most simple things of existence. I imagine that she could not have dreamed that in another 66 years her son, who would be born in the free state of the Jewish people, would be the chief-of-staff in the Jewish state,” Netanyahu said to Gantz during his swearing in ceremony.