By GIL STERN STERN HOFFMAN
Kadima MK Yitzhak Ben-Yisrael, who won the 31st slot on the party's list in last Wednesday's primary, announced Monday that he was quitting politics.
Ben-Yisrael expressed outrage that career politicians were placed on the list far ahead of him, despite his impressive record as a former general, chairman of the Israeli Space Agency and professor at Tel Aviv University. "Kadima members chose the Eli Aflalos, Ruhama Avraham-Balilas and Yoel Hassons instead of me," Ben-Yisrael said angrily. "They can have them."
While the latest polls show that it is not unrealistic that Kadima would win 31 seats, Ben-Yisrael had expected to be elected to one of the party's top slots. Unlike his fellow professor in Kadima's faction, MK Menahem Ben-Sasson, Ben-Yisrael worked hard on the campaign trail over the past few months but emerged with only a demotion to show for it.
Kadima leader Tzipi Livni said after the results of the primary were announced that placement on the list would not impact what positions would be given if Kadima was part of the next government. But Ben-Yisrael was not satisfied by such promises.
Ben-Yisrael attended a meeting of security-minded MKs with Livni on Monday night, "because it helps the country." His departure leaves Transportation Minister Shaul Mofaz as the only general left in Kadima before the 32nd slot on the list. The party does have three former Shin-Bet chiefs or deputy chiefs and a former Jerusalem police chief.
At the meeting, Livni vowed to thwart "the state of Hamastan" in the Gaza Strip, while Mofaz said that any cease-fire without reestablishing Israeli deterrence would be a mistake.
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