Former Chiefs of Staff launch new social movement called “Pnima” to tackle polarity in Israeli society

After revealing some troubling data on polarization in Israel, former IDF Chiefs of Staff Benny Gantz and Gabi Ashkenazi alongside former Education Minister Shai Piron launched a new social movement.
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A new Israeli social movement called Pnima or Inside in Hebrew was officially launched today (Monday). Its founders, which include former Education Minister Shai Piron, former IDF Chiefs of Staff Benny Gantz and Gabi Ashkenazi alongside Adi Altshuler and Shlomo Dovrat, the founders of the Krembo ‘s Wings movement, claim that the movement is not a political one. Rather, they claim that it aims to unify the polarized society in Israel.

Former Chiefs of Staff Ashkenazi and Gantz launch Pnima movement Photo credit: Reuters/IDF Spokesperson/ Channel 2 News

"I can say that from a security point of view, Israel is a strong and resilient place but we are here discussing another issue, one that is no less important: our ability to live here," said former IDF Chief of Staff Benny Gantz. "The political leadership of the State of Israel has not succeeding in rising to this challenge and I hope that what we are doing will create something from the bottom-up, a trend which the politicians will join in on." He continued, “We understand that it will be difficult and that there will be problems but we believe it is possible. "

Former IDF Chief of Staff Gabi Ashkenazi echoed his sentiments, adding that "everyone should be concerned about the phenomena that we are seeing. Solidarity, justice and equality are the things that have motivated us to this day and they are at risk." Though he clarified that he does not intend on joining the political system soon, Ashkenazi believes that the necessary changes can be made in civil society: “I think we have to get up and do something. If we succeed, I believe we will change society," he explained.

At the press conference marking the movement’s launch, research data was presented which examined the gaps and schisms in Israeli society. The study titled "Stop breaking, start connecting" mapped out the perceptions and attitudes of different sectors in Israeli society on a variety of topics.

Among the findings of the study were the following discoveries: 60% of the Jewish population in Israel thinks that the ultra-Orthodox are exploiting the country. 22.5% think that leftists are dangerous. 43% think that Tel Avivians are patronizing. 43% say that Arabs are frightening. 35% of the Haredim claim that leftists are unreliable.

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