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Israeli political parties seek to integrate former generals into their ranks

FRANCE 24 screengrab of Israeli general and politician Benny Gantz.

With security a major concern among voters, Israeli political parties seek to integrate former generals into their ranks. The phenomenon is not new, but it has become more widespread during the current legislative elections.

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Roughly 6.3 million Israelis will have the chance to vote on April 9 for members of the Knesset, the Israeli parliament. The outcome will determine the next prime minister. On the campaign trail, former high-ranking members of the military are popular choices.

Topping the centrist Blue and White party’s ticket is one so-called “protector”, Benny Gantz. Considered an outsider in the elections, he has emphasised his military achievements in Lebanon and Gaza at his rallies. With only a few days until the elections, his party leads current Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s party in the polls.

Former general Tal Russo, who spent 40 years in the army, is running in the second spot on the Labour party ticket. Polls predict that Labour, once the dominant party in Israel, will take home only a dozen or so of the Knesset’s 120 seats.

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