Avi Dichter, a former member of the Kadima opposition party has quit and will become the next minister of homefront affairs, replacing Matan Vilnai who is heading to China following his appointment as Israel’s next ambassador to Beijing.
With polls predicting the demise of Kadima opposition party in the next general elections, there is a growing number of politicians seeking to find a new political home, wishing to cut a deal before finding themselves outside of Knesset.
Dichter, a former director of the ISA (Israel Security Agency – Shin Bet), has already sent his letter of resignation to Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin. He will assume his new role as a cabinet minister on Thursday, 28 Menachem Av 5772.
Close associates to Dichter explain he accepted the post for he feels this is how he can best serve his country today, and his decision is not to be viewed as a move against Kadima.
Regarding a possible Israeli military strike against Iran, the daily Maariv reports that Dichter favors a strike, siding with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, Defense Minister Ehud Barak, Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, and Finance Minister Dr. Yuval Shteinitz. Ministers opposed include Vice Premier Moshe Ya’alon (a former IDF chief of staff), Minister of Atomic Energy Dan Meridor, Deputy Prime Minister Eli Yishai, Minister of Science Dr. Benny Begin. Other mainstream media reports signal that Dichter’s position is unknown since recent statements released by him on the matter have been somewhat contradictory.
According to Maariv, if Dichter does support and Israeli assault he gives the prime minister and defense minister a majority in the Forum of Eight ministers that makes such major decisions.
(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)