(photo credit: LAHAV HARKOV)
Former IDF generals will be on their way back to the party that was once the
political home of nearly every general upon their retirement, if Labor Party
leader Shelly Yacimovich gets her way.
Yacimovich, along with fellow
Labor MK Isaac Herzog, submitted a bill on Tuesday that would shorten the
cooling-off period for security officials to enter politics, from three years to
Passing the bill would enable former IDF chief of staff Lt.-Gen.
Gabi Ashkenazi, who left his post in February, to join a political party in just
two months and run in the next Knesset election.
Other top security
officials who could be affected include former Mossad chief Meir Dagan and
former IDF intelligence chief Amos Yadlin, whose father, Aharon Yadlin, was a
Labor Party minister.
“We want quality people to join Labor, including
security people,” Herzog said. “Members of no other profession are told they
can’t be involved in politics for three years.
The bill is not intended
for anyone specifically. There are a dozen former security officials who want to
join us, and we are in favor of giving them an opportunity.”
reacted to the proposal by telling Channel 10 that he was “not connected to this
This is not the first time Labor MKs have raised the
so-called Ashkenazi Bill. When MK Eitan Cabel submitted a bill on January 9 that
would cut the cooling-off period to a year and a half, it was defeated
unanimously in the ministerial committee on legislation.
leader Tzipi Livni has also announced that she opposes the bill.
IDF chief of staff Dan Halutz, who intends to run in the next Knesset election
for Kadima, backs shortening the cooling-off period, even though he said he
didn’t mind the current requirement to wait three years before entering
The so-called Halutz Bill, which passed in 2007, extended the
cooling- off period from six months to three years. It impacts IDF officers with
a rank of major-general and lieutenant-general, senior officials in the Shin Bet
(Israel Security Agency) and the Mossad, and Israel Police and Prisons Service
wardens with a rank of commander or above.