PM wants Dichter to join him in Likud

Sharon can appoint him minister without him getting elected to the Knesset.

avi dichter 298 88 aj (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
avi dichter 298 88 aj
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
Prime Minister Ariel Sharon wants to see former Shin-Bet chief Avi Dichter join him in the Likud, sources close to Sharon said on Sunday. Sharon's associates confirmed a story in Sunday's Yediot Aharonot that said that Sharon wants Dichter to run with him for the next Knesset, but they said that no concrete steps had been taken. "The prime minister wants to see him in his party and the infrastructure for them to run together is being laid," a Sharon associate said. "They will be together but we don't know yet in what capacity and when." The report said that Sharon and Dichter decided on running together in a recent conversation. In his trip to New York last month, Sharon met with Dichter, who is serving as a visiting fellow at the Saban Institute think tank in Washington, DC. To run for Knesset with the Likud, Sharon would have to make a special request to the Likud secretariat, because the party's bylaws require membership in the party of at least a year and a half. Sharon could also decide to appoint him as a minister without him getting elected to the Knesset as Sharon did with Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz. Dichter was a vocal supporter of Sharon's disengagement plan. His praise for the plan balanced out the vocal criticism from former IDF Chief of General Staff Moshe Ya'alon. Dichter's name had been mentioned as a possible candidate to join Sharon had he decided to form a new party. That idea was put on the back burner when he defeated a proposal to advance the Likud primary in a September 26 vote in the Likud central committee.