Bogie. I get it.
You are a highly qualified individual, with extensive experience in the security sector. You’re bright, hard working, and deeply dedicated to your country as well as the values you hold.
I recognize that you are a highly accomplished patriot, and naturally, having been introduced to politics you would like to one day lead your country. However, looking at the status quo, one which you are well acquainted, is the best course of action really bringing a new political party into the fray?
Every year that goes by the anti-Bibi camp grows larger, yet Netanyahu continues to navigate successfully by the skin of his teeth. The fact that I am even writing to you as a potential opponent of Netanyahu’s Likud is the prime example. Ask yourself a question. Why have the ranks of disaffected Likudniks grown exponentially over the past few years? How have we gotten to the point where four prior Chiefs of Staff of the IDF, including yourself, have publicly blasted Netanyahu, and yet he still seems insurmountable as Premier?
One answer lays within the weakness of the opposition. The Labor Party has failed to prove themselves as a competent and clear alternative to the Prime Minister. The great hope of many change voters, the Zionist Union, has crashed and burned due to lackluster leadership and infighting. Alternatively, Israel has been never been closer to escaping the suffocating leadership drought of the Netanyahu years. Still, the dueling egos of highly skilled and qualified leaders continue to allow Bibi to swiftly slide around the Knesset like an Israeli Frank Underwood.
While ‘White Knight’ parties are a staple of Israel’s political scene—the past few years have seen a proliferation of personality based parties. From Tzipi Livni’s Hatnuah and Moshe Kahlon’s Kulanu to Ehud Barak failed Atzmaut, every new political party has brought little stability or change to the Israeli political system: only portfolio and status for their leaders. Netanyahu is an expert on manipulating egos, and rejoices whenever a new political party is added to the noise. Do you really want to fall for the trap?
This is not an attack on your honesty, credibility, or competence. If you run independently and end up a medium sized party with 10 mandates as Netanyahu is forming his fifth government, would you not accept if he offered you back the Defense portfolio? It’d seem foolish to not! If you don’t it’d a waste of your talents and time. If you did, it would be betraying the conviction that led you to leave the government.
Herein lies the question—is your goal to be Prime Minister or just to return to the Defense Ministry? When you quit the government last month, you declared you had a “lack of faith in him.” In Herzliya, your criticism became much blunter. You lambasted the Prime Minister for inciting “Jews against Arabs, right against left, and between different tribes, all in order to survive in the government and to get another month or another year.”
Do you believe these words you said, or are they just empty words for political gain? Can you justify not doing everything in your power to remove the inciter-in-chief from power? We may not see eye-to-eye on many issues, but if your words ring true, we share one commonality. Together we recognize the damage that Benjamin Netanyahu is inflicting upon Israeli society, the wounds and scars he continuously tears in the fabric of the Jewish state.
So I call on you, Mr. Ya’alon. Take one for the team. I understand you don’t want to be number two to the likes of Yair Lapid. Who does? But, Lapid is our best bet. Moreover, he has a functioning party, with an already diverse array of popular and effective MKs. Your talent lies in your security prowess, something Lapid lacks. You would be an invaluable asset to him, and if he were to become the premier, you would be guaranteed the keys to the Kirya.