Former IDF Chief of Staff Gadi Eisenkot.
(photo credit: TAMIR BARGIG)
Former IDF chief of staff Gadi Eisenkot is unlikely to be a candidate if another election is held, even though he could legally run, sources close to him told The Jerusalem Post on Monday.
By law, former IDF generals are prohibited from running for three years after they complete their service. But there is a loophole that if an election has passed, they can run in the next one.
Eisenkot surprised many before the April 9 election when he cut short his time in the IDF after his service as chief of staff, when he could have technically remained in the army and not done anything but receive extra money for his pension.
The move was seen as a sign he would enter politics whenever the next election would be held. But close sources said a summer election would not be the right timing for him.
“I don’t think he’ll run,” said a source close to Eisenkot. “I think it is too soon. There is no reason for him to already run now.”
Blue and White is already full, with three former IDF chiefs of staff, but Eisenkot is not known to have views that would fit in Likud.
So while Eisenkot will likely sit out a new race, former IDF deputy chief of staff Yair Golan is expected to run. Golan also quit the IDF ahead of the April 9 election, so the same loophole in the law would apply to him, even though he left only in December after losing the chief of staff job to Aviv Kochavi.
Golan, who has expressed interest in running for leader of the Labor Party, faced criticism for making statements that were considered political when he was still in the IDF.
Current Labor leader Avi Gabbay, who is not expected to run for his post again, said in radio interviews this week that he would like to see Golan join Labor and run with the party.