MK Aryeh Eldad (National Union) is the only Knesset member to have submitted his candidacy for the chairmanship of the important Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee. He admits, however, that his candidacy has no chance of being approved, and even compared the prospect of being appointed to the position to “things one reads in science fiction novels.”
He explained, however, that he submitted his candidacy as an act of protest, due to the fact that two weeks have gone by since the committee's former chairman, Tzachi HaNegbi, was forced to suspend himself. HaNegbi, who was a Knesset member for Kadima, had to leave the Knesset after a court found him guilty of perjury.
In an interview with Arutz Sheva's Hebrew-language service, Eldad said it was shameful that Likud and Kadima were bickering over the chairmanship of the committee, which has an essential role in supervising Israel's security establishment. The committee's hiatus was less noticeable than it could have been, he said, because HaNegbi had effectively neutered the committee during his five-year tenure, preferring to play it safe politically and avoiding real criticism of the defense establishment.
Likud and Kadima are behaving irresponsibly, Eldad accused, in leaving the committee without a chairman for so long. The large parties prefer narrow political considerations to the good of the country, he said.
The Likud was trying to decide whether it prefers MK Ofir Akunis over Carmel Shama for the position, Eldad explained, although neither has any security experience. “Kadima was bothered by the fact that if Shaul Mofaz is appointed as the permanent chairman, this could increase his political leverage vis-a-vis Tzipi Livni, and if these are the considerations – this is a true horror story.”
Prof. Eldad is a medical doctor and headed the IDF's Medical Corps.