Friday, December 09, 2005

IDF Chief endorses Netanyahu

From Jerusalem Post, Dec. 8, 2005 22:18 Updated Dec. 8, 2005 23:48 By GIL HOFFMAN ...

Former prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu's campaign for Likud leadership received a boost on Thursday when former IDF Chief of General Staff Moshe Ya'alon agreed to support his candidacy, according to a Channel 2 report.

News of Ya'alon's endorsement capped a successful week for Netanyahu in which MK Uzi Landau dropped out of the leadership race and joined his campaign team. Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin also announced his support for Netanyahu in the December 19 primary.

An Israel Radio poll broadcast on Thursday predicted that Netanyahu would win the race by a significant margin but he would not obtain 40 percent of the vote, which he would need to avoid a run-off race against Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz. The poll also found that Netanyahu would bring the Likud five more mandates than his competitors.

Sources close to Mofaz said the leak of the ties between Netanyahu and Ya'alon to Channel 2 on Thursday was intended to harm Mofaz's campaign. Mofaz attacked Netanyahu on Thursday, warning that he would make the Likud into a small fringe party. In comments submitted to The Jerusalem Post for its Likud leadership debate, Mofaz stressed that unlike Netanyahu, his Likud would be "moderate Right and realistic" and would not harm the poor sectors.

Netanyahu continued his policy of not attacking the other candidates. He outlined his diplomatic vision, which is based on Palestinian reciprocity. "In Judea and Samaria, we have national, historic and strategic interests and I don't see any reason why we should offer concessions in advance of negotiations," Netanyahu told the Post. "Such concessions will be of limited scale and will be offered only in exchange for genuine peace with a genuine peace partner, something that is not readily apparent on the horizon today." .....

No comments: