Yitzhak ben-yisrael 29.8.
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
Prime Minister Ehud Olmert failed in his handling of the war in Lebanon, but he should not have to resign if US President George W. Bush did not have to quit because of his failures in Iraq, new Kadima MK Yitzhak Ben-Yisrael said Thursday.
Ben-Yisrael, who was next on the Kadima MK candidates list, automatically replaced Shimon Peres in the Knesset when Peres was elected president on Wednesday.
Ben-Yisrael will be sworn in as a lawmaker on Monday.
"The government failed in the war, but I don't know any country in the world where a government that failed quit," Ben-Yisrael told The Jerusalem Post. "George Bush didn't quit after Iraq. Quitting is something leaders don't do anywhere in the world, even if they failed."
Ben-Yisrael had been rumored to favor remaining outside the Knesset, where the former major-general chairs the Israel Space Agency and heads the defense studies program at Tel Aviv University. But he said his conscience would not permit him to pass up such an opportunity.
"The situation in the country is difficult," Ben-Yisrael said. "The government and the Knesset have a lot more impact than other corners of life. I couldn't face myself in the mirror if I stayed at home at such a difficult time."
In an interview with Channel 1, Ben-Yisrael called for the IDF to enter the Gaza Strip as soon as possible. He said it would be easier to respond to Kassam attacks now that Hamas had taken over the Gaza Strip, because now every rocket had the same address.
Asked if there was a possibility he would become the first MK sent to space, Ben-Yisrael said: "A lot of MKs are space cadets, but I don't think they should be sent to space."