Ayoub Kara
Ayoub KaraMarc Israel Sellem/Flash 90

Former Communications Minister Ayoob Kara is competing in today’s primaries for a place on the Likud list for the Knesset elections to be held on November 1. In a telephone interview with Israel National News-Arutz Sheva, among other things, he talks about the warning he received from security officials who reported to him that the Iranians intended to harm him during his travels in the Middle East.

"The Iranians identify targets in Israel, a few and not many," he says. "I received briefings from security officials who warned me." According to these briefings, the Iranians did not pose a danger to him within Israel, but when he leaves the country, he has to coordinate his activities with the security authorities. “This is very uncomfortable and I have not even talked about this at home.”

Kara explains that the Iranian motive for harming him is because he has acted to expand the Abrahamic Accords while in Muslim countries in the Middle East. “As someone who works against the Iranians in these meetings, this gives them the idea that they need to hurt me." He became aware of the need to be careful on his first trip to Dubai in 2017 when he was advised not to go. He went anyway.

The Iranians are concerned with his daily appearances on international Arab media as he expresses himself openly in polished Arabic. He is a sought-after figure with contacts in countries such as Iraq, Kurdistan, Oman, Mauritania, and more.

Kara was asked if there is any truth to the rumors that he was involved in the rescue of Jews from a hostile country. Emphasizing that he cannot elaborate on this publicly, he did affirm that there was an incident in what he defined as "one of the most problematic countries that are under Iranian control… we managed to get a large group of Jews moved to a neighboring country. They are now safe and waiting for completion of the mission," he says, meaning their immigration to Israel.

Kara, 67, has been a member of the Knesset for four terms but did not make it into the Knesset in 2021. He is fiercely loyal to former Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, and strongly supports the State of Israel as the Jewish state. As a Druze, his support of the Nation State Law drew strong antagonism from much of his own community.

About his feelings on the day of the primaries, Kara says: "I feel younger and more relaxed in this primary. There is the sense that it is well managed. It has never been so well organized. There is a good atmosphere and a professional calm."

While there is the concern that non-ideologically motivated individuals are competing for places on the Likud Party list because of political opportunism, he is confident that "Likud members are smart enough to choose the right people even if some candidates who do not truly identify with Likud ideology manage to get onto the list.”

As a Druze member of the Likud, Kara notes that: "There are members of the party, especially the founders and people long-rooted in the movement, who have great respect for the Druze.” However, the party is no longer truly right wing but, rather, soft right, in his opinion. According to him, the newer members are not interested in the symbolism of choosing a Druze candidate, “but,” he continues, “I want to believe that they understand the need to go to the elections with a loyal and ideological right-wing figure…and to give representation to the entire mosaic of Israeli society, including members of the Druze community.”