'Ashkenazi bill’ unanimously nixed by Ministerial c'tee

Proposal would allow outgoing IDF chief to run in Knesset election held as early as August 2012; Kadima MK vows to pass bill despite opposition.

By GIL STERN STERN HOFFMAN
January 10, 2011 11:54
1 minute read.
IDF Chief of General Staff Lt.-Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi speaks publicly for the first time on Wednesday.

Ashkenazi 311. (photo credit: Channel 10)

 
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As predicted in The Jerusalem Post, the Ministerial Committee on Legislation voted unanimously on Monday to oppose a bill that could allow outgoing IDF chief of General Staff Lt.-Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi to run in the next Knesset election.

Without the government’s support, it will be extremely difficult for the Knesset to pass the bill, which would shorten the cooling-off period currently required for top security officials from three years to a year and a half.

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Opposition leader Tzipi Livni also announced that she opposed the bill, which was sponsored by Kadima MK Yoel Hasson and Labor rebel MK Eitan Cabel.

Should the bill pass in the Knesset against all odds, it would enable Ashkenazi, who will leave his post next month, to compete in the next general election if it is held as early as August 2012. The next election is currently set for October 22, 2013, but is likely to be advanced, as almost every election has been.

Science Minister Daniel Herschkowitz expressed satisfaction that the bill did not pass in the ministerial committee, saying that it would politicize the IDF and result in generals making decisions to help themselves politically.

Hasson vowed to pass the bill despite the stiff opposition. He blamed the vote on “scared politicians who are suspicious of good people entering Israeli politics.”

Former IDF chief of General Staff Dan Halutz, who recently joined Kadima, said he believed the coolingoff period needed to be shortened. But he said he personally did not mind the requirement to wait three years before entering politics.

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“The waiting period gave me time to consider my future steps,” he said.

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