Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is considering offering Jerusalem Post Senior Contributing Editor Caroline Glick a slot reserved for a candidate of his choosing on the Likud candidates list, party officials said on Saturday night.
“I have not been offered anything in a formal manner, but I am flattered to hear I’m under serious consideration,” she told the Post.
Glick is a former adviser to Netanyahu and has maintained a positive relationship with him, even though she has criticized him at times, including after a deal in which more than 1,000 terrorists were exchanged for kidnapped soldier Gilad Schalit, which she called “immoral, irresponsible and stupid.”
In a statement on her Facebook page Saturday night, Glick wrote that she understood the Schalit deal was hard for Netanyahu and that, despite her criticism of him, she had no doubt he was the right man to lead the country.
It would be a disaster, she wrote, if someone else is prime minister amid pressure from the West and the threats Israel is facing from Iran, its allies in Syria and Lebanon, and the international Jihad.
In closed conversations, the prime minister praised the column she wrote in Friday’s Post.
“The role of an Israeli leader is to adopt the policies that protect Israel, even when they are unpopular at the White House,” she wrote. “Far from being ostracized for those policies, such an Israeli leader will be supported, respected and relied upon by those who share with him a concern for what truly matters.”
Netanyahu’s associates said Glick was among multiple candidates being considered for the 11th and 23rd slots on the Likud list that Netanyahu has at his disposal.
Labor Party officials said Netanyahu was taking yet another step to harm relations with the US by reportedly offering a slot to Glick, who has been among the harshest critics of the administration of President Barack Obama.
“I thought that Israel’s relations with the US under Netanyahu couldn’t get worse,” Labor MK Nachman Shai said.
“Netanyahu deserves her. She will become a rebel MK before he knows it.”
Glick was one of the candidates suggested by members of the public on January 7, when Netanyahu, on his official Facebook page, asked whom they want to see in the Knesset.
Among the other names suggested were Nobel laureate Yisrael Aumann, former Bank of Israel governor Stanley Fischer, Jewish Agency chairman Natan Sharansky, economist and former Post business editor Shlomo Maoz, journalists Roni Daniel and Ben-Dror Yemini, television personality Avri Gilad, former Maccabi Tel Aviv basketball star Tal Brody, former Shas MK Haim Amsalem and Shurat Hadin – Israel Law Center Executive Director Nitsana Darshan-Leitner.
“I’m very humbled that members of the public have put my name forward as their desired representative in the Knesset,” Glick said at the time. “I don’t know if now is the right time for me and my family for a move into politics, but I do know that the people of Israel are the strongest, bravest people in the world and deserve equally valiant leaders.”
Glick said that in the 24 years since she made aliya she has witnessed the transformation of Israeli society on every level.
Israelis have matured as a free people and have demonstrated that they can surmount all limits placed on them in every field of human endeavor, she said.
“Under Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s leadership, we have withstood extraordinary pressures, placed on us from the most unexpected quarters, and moved forward,” Glick said. “For as long as I can remember myself, I have always believed that the greatest goal I could aspire to was to defend Israel and the Jewish people. I have been privileged with many opportunities to do so in my professional life. And I am honored that members of the public consider me worthy to continue my efforts in the Knesset.”
On Sunday, the Likud is set to begin a process of recounting votes from the December 31 party primary that were cast for Deputy Science, Technology and Transportation Minister Tzipi Hotovely and former public security minister Avi Dichter.
The Likud’s internal Supreme Court ordered the recount on Friday, but Hotovely appealed the decision to a wider court.
The Likud court turned down an appeal by a candidate who lost a seat reserved for a candidate from Jerusalem, former city council member Yair Gabbay, who is an American citizen. He intends to appeal the decision to a district court Sunday.