Former northern police chief Cmdr. (ret.) Alik Ron followed in the footsteps of former IDF chief of General Staff Lt.-Gen. (res.) Dan Halutz on Sunday when he joined Kadima en route to an expected run for the Knesset.
Like Halutz, Ron faced an investigation that deemed him a failure. The Orr Commission that looked into the response to Arab rioting in the North in October 2000 recommended that Ron no longer be allowed to hold a command or administrative position in public security.
Ron came on Sunday to Kadima headquarters in Petah Tikva and submitted a membership form to Kadima director- general Moshe Shehori.
Kadima leader Tzipi Livni told him over the phone that she welcomed his desire to contribute to public life and to improve the state of the country at a difficult time.
“I am sure you can use your skills and abilities to aid Kadima in many ways and to make Israel into what it can and should be,” Livni told Ron. “Your joining is further proof that more and more Israelis understand that Kadima is the solution to Israel’s worsening situation.”
Ron said the Carmel forest fire persuaded him that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu was unworthy or unable to run the country in the face of the challenges and dangers ahead.
“In light of the indifference and inaction of the country’s current leadership, I decided to enter politics as part of Kadima,” Ron said. “I hope I can join the party’s efforts and its work to present a real and worthy alternative to the government.”
Ron said that after “thousands of friends and citizens” had urged him to enter politics, he decided to do so “out of full faith in my abilities.”
Ron, who will be 63 on Friday, served in the IDF’s elite Sayeret Matkal commando unit and was part of the operation at Entebbe in 1976, in which Netanyahu’s brother Yoni was killed. He joined the police in 1987 and held many top posts before finishing as northern police commander, amid the scandal over the killings of 13 Arab rioters.
The Orr Commission found that Ron contributed to the poor relations and lack of communication with the Arab leadership in his district and did not prepare his men for riots.
It found him responsible for the live fire by sharpshooters at rioters in Umm el-Fahm that the commission determined was unjustified, which resulted in one death and wounded at least seven people.
“The commission determined that its many findings regarding Cmdr. Ron
point to a substantial failure in the ways and means of fulfilling his
duties,” the report said.
Hadash chairman Muhammad Barakeh, who Ron accused of inciting violence
against police during the riots, urged Kadima members to not vote him
into the Knesset.
“Ron’s support for two states for two peoples is not an entrance ticket
to politics,” Barakeh said. “He has to pay a price for killing 13 Arab
“Kadima leaders might think he strengthens their party, but by accepting Ron, Kadima really shot itself in the foot.”