Zionist Union candidate aims to be warrior for peace

Maj. Gen. (res.) Eyal Ben-Reuven (photo credit: Courtesy)
Maj. Gen. (res.) Eyal Ben-Reuven
(photo credit: Courtesy)
Maj.-Gen. (res.) Eyal Ben-Reuven entered politics in order to help the Zionist Union reach a secure peace agreement, he said in an interview with The Jerusalem Post on Tuesday.
Ben-Reuven, 60, became the final candidate whom Hatnua head Tzipi Livni brought to the Labor-Hatnua joint list. He will enter the Knesset if the Zionist Union wins 24 seats, which some polls predict will happen and others do not.
“When I met with Livni, I saw we were on the same wavelength,” he said. “We both believe we need to pursue the peace process with eyes wide open.”
He initially joined Meretz a year ago after participating in several left-wing initiatives and organizations such as the Geneva Initiative. He said he had left for the Zionist Union because Meretz’s positions were too pro-Palestinian.
“I entered the political fray after mulling at length whether I was ready,” he said. “I decided I would enter but [that] I must maintain my values, which I have presented for years to my soldiers: modesty, credibility, and staying on their level while setting a personal example.”
The day after he joined the Zionist Union list, he led party leader Isaac Herzog and Livni on a tour of the northern border. He is now the highest-ranking security figure on the party’s list, passing MK Omer Bar-Lev, who is a colonel.
Ben-Reuven served in the Yom Kippur War and both Lebanon wars. He still serves as a reserve deputy commander in the Northern Command.
“I have dealt with war for 25 years,” he said. “Now I want to be a warrior on a different battleground. I want to be a warrior for a peace agreement. I intend to be a leader of the initiative to find any possible path to reach an agreement, first with the Palestinians, then with other countries in the region. I can’t guarantee there’ll be peace tomorrow, but we must try.”
He warned that Israel was going in the wrong direction, toward one state that he believes either will not be democratic or will not be Jewish.
“I have met with Palestinian leaders, but I am not naïve,” he said. “Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas is making many mistakes. But he is what there is.”