Former Defense Minister Moshe “Bogie” Ya’alon will run for national leadership in Israel's next elections, he announced during a speech at the Herzliya Conference on Thursday.
Ya’alon also attacked the current leadership of Israel, saying “at this point, and in the foreseeable future, there is no existential threat facing Israel. Thus it is fitting that the leadership of the country stop scaring the citizenry and stop giving them the feeling that we are standing before a second Holocaust.”
Ya'alon said that it isn't security threats that keep him awake at night, rather the social and moral problems facing Israel.
“If there is something that I lose sleep at night about, it’s not the truckloads of weapons in Syria and Lebanon or Iran’s attempts to wage terror – Israel has the capabilities to deal with these forcefully and with sophistication. If there is something that I lose sleep over, it’s the cracks in Israel’s society, the erosion of basic values, the attempts to harm IDF soldiers and their commanders. It is a fact – the leadership is tempestuous and being dragged.”
He also said of Iran that nuclear program, for years a major focus of Prime Minister Netanyahu, will "be frozen in light of the the [nuclear] deal signed [by world powers] does not constitute an immediate, existential threat for Israel."
The speech was the first given by Ya’alon since he resigned from the government on May 20th, a decision he said he made "following the recent conduct" of Netanyahu, and "in light of my lack of faith in him."
Ya’alon’s decision to leave the government came after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu ousted him as defense minister in favor of Avigdor Liberman, as part of negotiations to bring the Yisrael Beytenu party into the coalition.
Ya'alon also spoke of the importance of Israel's alliance with the United States, which he described as essential to Israel's security and diplomatic needs.
Following Ya'alon's remarks, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's Likud party accused the former defense minister Moshe Ya'alon of flip-flopping on his previous positions.
"Just a few months ago he said Iran is an existential concern for Israel, today when turned into a politician at the Herzliya Conference, he said that Israel faces no existential threat," the party said in a statement. "It's funny how quickly Ya'alon changed his hide."Jpost.com Staff contributed to this report.