On June 4, 1967, then-prime minister Levi Eshkol formed a national unity
government and appointed Moshe Dayan minister of defense. A day later, the Six
Day War broke out.
The threat that Israel faces today from Iran is not as
imminent as the one Eshkol was concerned with 45 years ago. On the other hand,
by inserting Shaul Mofaz and Kadima into the government, Prime Minister Binyamin
Netanyahu might be trying to close the ranks ahead of a war that might be
looming on the horizon, a war against Iran.
inserting Shaul Mofaz and Kadima into the government, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu may be trying to tighten ranks ahead of a possible war that might be looming on the horizon, a war against Iran.
Mofaz, however, is not
someone who is expected to immediately fall in line behind Netanyahu and Defense
Minister Ehud Barak when it comes to Iran.
A former defense minister and
chief of staff, he has a record that nearly parallels Barak’s and could try and
take a stand against him in the government. Mofaz is intimately familiar with
the Iranian issue – not just because of his birth in Tehran – but also from his
more recent roles as chairman of the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense
Committee and head of the Strategic Dialogue with the United States until
According to media reports over the past year, Mofaz has been
opposed to an Israeli attack on Iran and will find a partner in his successor as
IDF chief of staff, Strategic Affairs Minister Moshe “Bogie” Ya’alon, who is
also opposed to unilateral Israeli action.
Both believe a military option
should be a last resort and that Israel should instead try and get the United
States to stop the Iranians.
If Netanyahu plans on bringing such an
option to a security cabinet vote soon, possibly as early as this summer, he
likely gave thought to the way Mofaz would vote.
Judging by the decision
to bring Kadima into the government, the prime minister either is not planning
on bringing a possible strike to a vote or he believes that he has a majority in
the cabinet without Mofaz. Another possibility is that Netanyahu believes that
once Mofaz joins the government and is reexposed to the latest classified
material on Iran, the Kadima leader will change his mind.