The Kulanu party of Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon announced on Friday it has added Brig. Gen. (res.) Ram Shmueli to its slate for the April 9 election.
Shmueli replaces Yoav Gallant as the dominant security figure in Kulanu. Gallant defected to Likud and won a top-10 seat in the party’s primary that took place on Tuesday.
In his last post in the IDF, Shmueli was head of Air Force intelligence. He planned the successful September 2007 attack on Syria’s nuclear reactor, after serving as a fighter pilot for 30 years.
Shmueli has headed the organization Hashomer Hahadash (the New Guard) for the past nine years. The organization combines education about the land of Israel with excursions and guard duty on farms.
Kahlon said Shmueli was a leader who understands that security is both a military and socioeconomic force.
“He is a man who cares about Israeli security and society, so he is a natural fit for Kulanu,” Kahlon said.
Until now, Kulanu had only seen candidates leave the party, not join. Besides Gallant, the party has lost MKs Michael Oren, Rachel Azaria and Eli Alalouf.