Ya'alon still undecided on entering politics

Israel's former consul-general in Los Angeles, Ehud Danoch decides to run for seat on the Likud list.

Moshe Yaalon 248.88 (photo credit: Ori Porat)
Moshe Yaalon 248.88
(photo credit: Ori Porat)
The Likud central committee will convene at the Tel Aviv Fairgrounds on Sunday evening and will showcase the celebrities who recently joined the party or returned after a long absence. But attention will also be focused on who will not be attending the event: Former IDF chief of General Staff Lt.-Gen. (res.) Moshe Ya'alon, who still has not decided whether to enter politics. Sources close to Likud chairman Binyamin Netanyahu denied rumors that Ya'alon would join his party on Sunday ahead of the central committee meeting. Ya'alon is sought after by the Likud and the party being formed to the Right of the Likud out of the National Union-National Religious Party. He will have to make a decision soon, because the Likud set a November 25 deadline for candidates to join its Knesset race. "When I make a decision, I will inform the public," Ya'alon told The Jerusalem Post on Saturday night. "I don't feel any pressure or urgency [to decide]," he added. National Religious Party chairman Zevulun Orlev, who is running for the top slot in the new party, said he would welcome Ya'alon if he decided to run against him in the race for the chairmanship of the still unnamed party, set for mid-December. "I still hope that Ya'alon will join us and run with us, even for the top spot," Orlev said. "But he would also make a good number two." The Likud central committee will vote on a proposal passed by the party's law committee to set a December 8 date for the party's primary and reserve slots for women, immigrants, a candidate under 35, a non-Jew and representatives of 10 different regions. The Likud secretariat will meet next week to decide whether to waive the 16-month minimum membership in the party to enable the well-known figures who joined the party to run. World Likud chairman Danny Danon is leading efforts in the committee to prevent doves like former IDF deputy chief of General Staff Uzi Dayan and former Police inspector-general Assaf Hefetz from running. Due to Danon's efforts, the votes on each new candidate will be held individually and by secret ballot. Dayan said he was not concerned that the hawks in the secretariat would prevent him from running or from winning a top slot on the Likud's Knesset list. "I might not be the most right-wing person in the Likud, but I feel good with the party members who vote for the Knesset list and I am sure I will be near the top of the list," Dayan said. Israel's former consul-general in Los Angeles, Ehud Danoch, who was credited with great success in promoting Israel in Hollywood, told Netanyahu over the weekend that he would run for the 31st slot on the list, which is reserved for a candidate from Tel Aviv. Danoch, 38, is an attorney and a former adviser to MK Silvan Shalom. "As someone who has been in public service for a decade, I see this run as a natural extension of that," Danoch said. "The Likud is putting together the best possible team and I hope that I will be able to add to that by contributing from my experience on behalf of the country and its people."