Former Defense Minister and IDF Chief of Staff Moshe (Boogie) Ya'alon, himself a prime ministerial hopeful, wrote an impassioned post on Facebook Sunday, imploring Likud voters to cease their support for Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu due to the multiple ongoing police investigations into his affairs.
Ya'alon began by writing that his words were directed to "those who care about the right-wing and the fate of the Likud," and said that "These words are written with the blood of my heart, with fear for our image and our future."
"I look at the blind supporters of the Prime Minister, those who do not ask questions, and can not help but wonder: Since when does fear paralyze values?" asked Ya'alon. How does so much power paralyze thought? How is it possible that blind loyalty gnaws at the heart?"
"The late Menachem Begin founded the Likud on the basis of three pillars - the freedom of the individual, societal reform, and the supremacy of the law. Many of you, members and Likud voters, live according to these principles every day," Ya'alon continued. "The low number of supporters of the Prime Minister who attend his rallies, as well as the silence of the party's senior officials, is proof that they have reached the heart."
"The Likud, like the rest of the Israeli public, deserves an honest leadership loyal to the people and to the state, a leadership that the police has nothing to investigate."
Ya'alon also rebuffed Netanyahu's claims that the police probes are a left-wing scheme against the right. "The right is not one person," he said. "The right is an ideological movement, and does not belong to one person."
Ya'alon and Netanyahu were once close, but their relationship soured in 2016 in the wake of disagreements over how to best handle the Elor Azariya case. Yaalon had taken an uncompromising stance against the soldier, deeming him 'The soldier who erred,' before the investigation began and criticized Netanyahu for phoning the soldiers father. Ya'alon did not chastise his depury for comparing Israel to Nazi Germany on Holocaust Day in a speech that aroused much public ire.
Ya'alon resigned from the Knesset in May 2016, and announced that July that he intends to run for Prime Minister and replace Binyamin Netanyahu.
In a recent interview concerning the 'Case 3000' submarine affair, Ya'alon lashed into Netanyahu, saying that "it is inconceivable that he was not involved" in the alleged scandal and called for his resignation. "I do not know if the police will succeed in bringing a criminal indictment, and it does not really matter to me," he added.
Since his departure from the Defense Ministry and the Knesset, Ya'alon has announce his plans to launch a new political party to challenge the Likud in the next elections. It is unclear, however, whether the new party will pass the 3.25% electoral minimum threshold, having failed to do so in all polls which included it as an option.