As a former military man and a nationalist who holds a few liberal positions, I am amazed at what goes on in Israel’s left-wing camp.

It is impossible to understand how the left-wing camp destroys its leaders, from the late Prime Minister Shimon Peres to former Prime Minister Ehud Barak, former Labor Party leaders Amram Mitzna, Shelly Yachimovich and Avi Gabbay, and current Labor leader Amir Peretz. Blue and White Party head Benny Gantz now joins this list.

Gantz, a former IDF chief of staff who commanded the Israeli Air Force’s Shaldag commando unit and the Paratroopers Brigade, has recently been called a “loser,” “liar,” “traitor” and “evil” by members of the very same camp that once saw him as their only hope of salvation.

There’s no doubt Gantz failed. He was unable to present a true political alternative, he’s lost a lot of his political clout, his standing in the media is shaky, and he is not at his best, to say the least. But why does the leftist camp insist time and again on taking out its leaders in such an incredibly brutal manner, and what can we learn from this practice?

The left repeatedly selects a new “idol” to fawn over and then throws them to the wolves. What does that say about their understanding of leadership and people in general? Is there any reputable person who would be willing to lead this camp today, with the understanding they are destined to be just the next in the left’s long list of victims?

The supposedly enlightened, tolerant and pluralistic camp’s treatment of its leaders proves that they are light years from the values they purport to endorse. Above all else, they are disloyal, and they have no faith in those they choose to lead them.

Worst of all, they take people with excellent public service or military records and in a matter of mere months, roll them into the dustbin of history as if they were nothing but worthless pieces of trash. This cannot be allowed to continue.

I didn’t vote for Gantz, but I know him, and I know his abilities. I won’t get into the defense minister’s political talents, but one thing I will say. He’s a mentsch. He’s a good, decent and trustworthy person. He’s a man who’s very easy to work with. He listens, really listens. So he isn’t the world’s greatest politician, does that justify treating him like a doormat? The only possible explanation for the left’s behavior is that it suffers from a chronic case of self-hatred.

Gantz, like some of the others who came before him, dedicated 40 years of his life to the people of Israel at an unfathomable personal cost, and all it takes is five months in politics for the left to wipe him out as if he were nothing. It’s outrageous. To think that only a few months ago, more than a million of them voted for him in an election.

I am not a man of the left, but I am an Israeli patriot. I voted for someone else, but I will never forget who Benny Gantz is. And I will never treat him the way you, his voters, are treating him now.

As an Israeli, an officer and a commander, I am ashamed of the way the leftist camp treats people who have sacrificed so much for the state. When I see how they treat these people—with whom I have deep differences of opinion—I realize they never deserved to have them as their leaders in the first place.

Col. (res.) Ronen Itsik is a former commander in the IDF Armored Corps and author of “A Man in a Tank.”

This article first appeared in Israel Hayom.


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