Frmr. ISA Head Returning to Politics on Likud List

Avi Dichter returns to Likud after brief hiatus, says he supports peace deal - but also that Israel should defang Gaza.

Tova Dvorin,

Avi Dichter
Avi Dichter
Reuters

Former Minister and Israel Security Agency (ISA or Shin Bet) leader Avi Dichter will be returning to politics, Walla! News reports Monday - this time, running in the Likud primaries, to be held on Wednesday. 

Dichter returns to politics after leaving Kadima in 2012 to join Likud, and after briefly serving until March 2013 as Home Front Command Minister at Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's request during the 19th Knesset. 

Despite Netanyahu's support, Dichter did not manage to get enough votes from party members to formally join the Likud party during the last elections, falling short by 380 votes for the threshold. 

Now, he says, he is taking stock of past experiences in his cautious return to the political scene. He explained that while last time, he launched a six-week campaign to woo members' support for his Likud candidacy, he has been systematically building support throughout several "headquarters" throughout the country ahead of the 2015 elections.

Dichter explained that he identifies with the Right, but not the "extreme Right," as he puts it, and believes that Likud must remain "Center-Right" in order to remain the ruling party and to build a coalition for the 20th Knesset.  

When asked what "Center-Right" entails, he dodged the question slightly, but did note that, in his view, it includes acceptance of the idea of "Two States for Two Peoples." 

"Any intelligent person realizes that a one-state solution with the six million Jews and seven million non-Jews - mostly Muslims - is irresponsible," Dichter stated to Walla!. "It is to set for ourselves a reality which is clearly unreasonable." Dichter added that Netanyahu takes this view as well. 

Following the theme of a grand plan for the Middle East, the former Shin Bet leader added that Gaza must be demilitarized - and that if the international community does not step in to do so, Israel must do so itself. 

"Gaza is a terrorist entity controlled by Hamas, a terrorist organization, no matter what the European Union says," he explained. "They have no idea what Hamas is."

"We will have to disarm Gaza," he continued. "Destruction of the terrorist infrastructure is something that will have to happen. Either the Egyptians and the Palestinian Authority will do this, or the time will come for Israel's Operation Defensive Shield in Gaza. This is something you need to plan - it's not something you do in response to rocket fire. We cannot leave it like it is." 

Dichter added that in his view, the Nation-State or Jewish State Law - the law blamed with bringing down the 19th Knesset - will eventually pass. The former Minister was the first to introduce his own version of the law, with Netanyahu's blessing, as a Kadima MK during the 18th Knesset. 


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