Netanyahu, Gantz claim each other unfit to be PM

Both Netanyahu and Gantz gave interviews to Channels 12 and 13 and held rallies closing their campaigns, Likud in Ramat Gan and Blue and White in Tel Aviv.
A banner depicts Benny Gantz, leader of Blue and White party, and Israel Prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu, as part of Blue and White party's campaign ahead of the upcoming election, in Tel Aviv, Israel February 17, 2020 (photo credit: AMMAR AWAD / REUTERS)
A banner depicts Benny Gantz, leader of Blue and White party, and Israel Prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu, as part of Blue and White party's campaign ahead of the upcoming election, in Tel Aviv, Israel February 17, 2020
(photo credit: AMMAR AWAD / REUTERS) 

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his challenger in Monday’s election, Blue and White leader Benny Gantz, escalated their attacks on each other on Saturday night ahead of Monday’s election.
Both Netanyahu and Gantz gave interviews to Channels 12 and 13 and held rallies closing their campaigns, Likud in Ramat Gan and Blue and White in Tel Aviv.
At the Blue and White rally, Gantz called upon Blue and White activists to be cognizant of attempts by Likud to enable forgeries and to mislead voters, a reference to the coronavirus.  
“I am warning you, Netanyahu will try to interfere with Election Day,” Gantz said. “He did it in the past, and he will do it with more sophisticated means this Election Day. We are ready for every possibility, and I ask you to pay attention.”
Gantz said there was no way he would sit under Netanyahu with three investigations hanging over his head. He said it was clear that Netanyahu wanted a fourth election, so he could remain living in the Prime Minister’s Residence during his trial and then pass legislation to evade prosecution.
Netanyahu mocked his own criminal indictments and questions about his ability to continue running the country while on trial. He listed his accomplishments and said he had achieved them “even though I have had 15 investigations” and “been on trial in the media for three years.”
Regarding Gantz, Netanyahu said “he is nice, and some say cute, but he is not a leader.” Responding to Gantz repeatedly comparing him to Turkish leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Netanyahu said “Gantz compares me to a mass murderer and then he complains about incitement?”
Netanyahu also attacked Yisrael Beytenu leader Avigdor Liberman, ruling out appointing him a minister if he forms the next government.
Final polls broadcast on Channel 12 and Channel 13 on Friday night predicted 58 and 56 seats, respectively, for Netanyahu’s Right-Center bloc.
After a weekend of Gantz enduring the fallout from leaked tapes of his strategist Israel Bachar calling the possibility of him becoming prime minister “a "danger to the people of Israel," Likud had to deal with a new tape of an unofficial Netanyahu adviser.
Netanyahu’s former chief of staff Natan Eshel, who is still sent on political missions by the prime minister, was caught in a tape revealed on Channel 12 making racist statements again Sephardi voters.
Eshel said on the tape that “non-Ashkenazim hate everything.” He praised what he called “Likud’s campaign of hate” for motivating such voters and uniting Netanyahu’s political camp. He also called Culture and Sports Minister Miri Regev, who has organized Netanyahu’s campaign rallies “a beast.”
Blue and White responded that such comments were typical of how the Likud sees its own voters.
“That is the bad spirit of Netanyahu that is poisoning Israel,” Gantz said. “In two days, it will be over.”
Blue and White MK Gabi Ashkenazi, who is Sephardi, added: “We in Blue and White won’t let hate win. We won’t let racism win.”
The Likud responded that there was no comparison between Eshel’s and Bachar’s tapes. The party said Eshel does not work for Likud and speaks only for himself.

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