Thursday, June 30th | 1 Tammuz 5782

The Top 100 People Positively Influencing Jewish Life, 2021


Benny Gantz

Israeli Minister of Defense

Currently serving as Israel’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defense in the wake of the 2021 election, former IDF Chief of Staff Benny Gantz had originally been scheduled to become Prime Minister this November, under the terms of the deal he agreed with the former incumbent, Benjamin Netanyahu, the previous year. In September, Gantz led the Israeli government’s response to the insistence of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas at the UN that Israel withdraw to the 1948 boundaries within a year. “[Abbas] issued an ultimatum and climbed a tall tree that will be difficult to climb down from,” Gantz observed, adding: “It is important to remember one thing — no one is going anywhere. It is important to recognize this and that the only way to deal with this reality is to develop security, develop the economy and strengthen the governance of the Palestinian Authority.” Gantz has also approved the construction of 2,000 new housing units for Jewish communities in the West Bank. Before entering politics, Gantz enjoyed a distinguished military career, the highlights of which included his command of the 1991 mass airlift of Ethiopian Jews to Israel. (Photo: Abir Sultan / Pool via Reuters / File)


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David Barnea

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