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Monday, August 21, 2006

General Ya'alon To Return Home Amid Speculation

This morning's New York Sun speculates that former General Moshe Ya'alon - who was fired by Ariel Sharon after he beat the second 'intifadeh' for opposing the unilateral surrender of the Gaza Strip and the expulsion of all its Jews - may be joining the Likud upon his return to Israel.

Hat Tip: Yisrael in Shilo
Moshe Ya'alon, the general who broke the back of the second Palestinian Arab intifada in 2003 only to find himself fired from his job as chief of staff of the military for opposing Ariel Sharon's withdrawal of settlements and soldiers from Gaza, is something like Israel's General Dwight Eisenhower, a popular ex-general who is being pursued quietly by Israel's conservative opposition that seeks a steady hand in what is shaping up to be a long war against Islamic terror.

Just like Ike, the military hero is waiting for the right moment to enter politics. The general so far has not declared his allegiance to any party. In an interview yesterday, Mr. Ya'alon said he was returning from a residency at the Washington Institute for Near East Affairs to take up a post at the Shalem Center, a center-right think tank in Jerusalem, and to write a book.

"I am going back now but I don't want to speak politics. I am ready to speak substance, not to speak about this party or that party, but to speak out my mind," he said.

But Mr. Ya'alon's mind is very much in step with the Likud opposition that has behind the scenes sought to revive its party with his prestige. A poll earlier this year conducted by the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs found that Mr. Ya'alon enjoyed a 90% approval rating.

The general, like the vanquished Likud party, warned that Israel's withdrawal a year ago from Gaza would imperil its southern cities. He shares the frustration of Likud leaders that the war in Lebanon was fought in a feckless manner and argues that Israel and the west must eventually confront Iran.

A spokesman for the Likud leader, Benjamin Netanyahu, yesterday agreed that Mr. Ya'alon's positions on war and peace were in line with his boss. But he cautioned that no deals had been done and denied Israeli press reports that Mr. Netanyahu was in close touch with General Ya'alon over the last week.
Read the whole thing.


At 6:55 PM, Blogger naftali said...



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