Two former Israeli army chiefs, Benny Gantz and Gabi Ashkenazi, launched a new social movement yesterday aimed at handling rifts in the Israeli society, Haaretz reported.
Speaking at a press conference in Lod, Gantz announced the launching of the “apolitical” movement Pnima, which means “inward” in Hebrew. The movement is also being led by the former Education Minister Shai Piron.
Gantz stressed that the movement’s leaders had no intention to enter politics and that Pnima, was “apolitical”, rejecting allegations that the movement was a cover for a political party. “I think politics is important,” he said, “but we aren’t there, we are here.”
He pointed out that the movement aims to address “our internal strength rather than our external challenge,” explaining that its goal is to encourage dialogue between Israelis from various communities.
I have dealt with security challenges in every sphere and from a security standpoint Israel is in a strong and resilient position
the ex-army official said, adding: “In the future there will also be security challenges, and the country knows how to deal with them.”Ashkenazi agreed that Israel’s main challenge was improving the strength of the country’s social fabric. “The values of solidarity, justice and equality are at risk,” Ashkenazi said, calling for “an end to the divisions, an end to the incitement, an end to the baseless hatred.”
Piron, who resigned from the Knesset and left politics in September 2015, said the main problem of Israeli society is hatred of those who are different − as a result of alienation, ignorance and a lack of familiarity.
“There are people, particularly politicians, who are profiting from the hate,” Piron said. “They are teaching us that the main way to get ahead in life is through hatred of the other. It can’t be that the only thing that unifies us is our enemies, war and fear of the other.”