(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)
Yesh Atid and the Zionist Union would both welcome former IDF chief of staff Gabi Ashkenazi to their ranks if he chooses to enter politics, senior officials in both parties said on Wednesday.
Zionist Union leader Isaac Herzog, followed by Yesh Atid chairman Yair Lapid, congratulated Ashkenazi on Twitter after the decision by Attorney-General Yehuda Weinstein to close the Harpaz Affair case.
“I welcome former chief of staff Gabi Ashkenazi, Ronit, and his family, on the closing of the file and the weight that was removed from their shoulders,” Herzog tweeted.
Lapid wrote that Ashkenazi make a major contribution to strengthening Israel’s security.
“This is important news for his family, for the IDF, and the state,” Lapid wrote.
Both Herzog and Lapid have met with Ashkenazi in the past and urged him to join their parties.
Lapid reportedly offered him the second slot on Yesh Atid’s list.
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“I think any party in Israel would gain from having him, as would Yesh Atid,” Lapid has said in a past interview.
Zionist Union officials said anyone who could help defeat Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu must join their party.
Sources close to Ashkenazi said he had not decided yet whether to enter politics and that he needs to rest after an investigation that lasted more than five years.
But Channel 10 reported that Ashkenazi’s associates had said in private conversations that now that the case has been closed, the former general may enter politics if he decides to do so.
A Likud official said the Center- Left had been waiting for a general to save them from their poor leadership for many years though past generals-turned-politicians had proven in the past that experience on the military battlefield does not necessarily guarantee success on the political battlefield.
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