This article is translated from the Israel Ma'ariv newspaper and appeared in the Israel News Today service on February 4, 2019.
The excitement surrounding the meeting between Benny Gantz and Gabi Ashkenazi that was supposed to have been held yesterday evening is superfluous. The two of them have met on several occasions beneath the radar, and have spoken with one another even more often. They don’t need to be introduced to one another. The 19th chief of staff and the 20th chief of staff don’t need mediators. Gantz wants Ashkenazi almost desperately. Ashkenazi, for the time being, isn’t willing to come on his own. Out of the entire group of generals and potential leaders in the center-left bloc, Ashkenazi is the only who isn’t motivated by his own ego or future status. He is willing to “come under the stretcher in the most difficult place,” in the best of the Golani Brigade’s tradition, but only if that is worth the effort. In other words: a large merger with Yair Lapid will be worth making that effort.