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Former MK Claims 'Extreme Right' Has Wrested Control of Likud

Former Minister Moshe Kahlon, considering return to politics, laments that Likud has sacrificed 'social sensitivity' for 'rightists.'
By Ido Ben-Porat
First Publish: 4/8/2014, 10:31 AM

Moshe Kahlon
Moshe Kahlon
Flash 90

Former Communications and Social Affairs Minister Moshe Kahlon stated Tuesday that he is considering re-entering politics after a hiatus. 

"I decided to return to politics, but I don't know in what framework," Kahlon said. The former Likud MK noted that his party has changed since he left. "I have great difficulties returning to the Likud of today." 

Kahlon noted in an interview with Yediot Aharonot that the party's basic principles, to him, are in flux. 

"The question is: what is Likud?" he said. "My Likud was really Menachem Begin's Likud, represented through a number of social principles: reducing the class gap, revitalizing [run-down] neighborhoods, educational and social rehabilitation." 

"This was a pragmatic Likud, that knew how to make peace when it had to," he continued. "Likud was social sensitivity, Likud was compassion, Likud was caring for the weak. But this Likud no longer exists." 

"It's no secret that I, and many fellow MKs, feel that Likud is no longer the party it once was," he added. "The social issue gradually evaporated." 

"All sorts of organizations have taken over Likud, with the understanding that this is the ruling party in Israel," he continued. "I'm talking about the extreme right taking over Likud."

Kahlon has discussed returning to politics multiple times, including via his own Center-Left party a la' Yair Lapid's Yesh Atid. The former MK was rejected by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu for an appointment to the Israel Land Administration (ILA)  last year after alleged opposition from Jewish Home. Jewish Home Chairman Naftali Bennett has denied involvement with Kahlon.