Sunday, January 26, 2014

Likud vs. Likud, Part Deux

כ"ו לחודש האחד עשר תשע"ד

First we had MK Ze'ev Elkin acting as the thorn in Prime Minister Netanyahu's side in Likud vs. Likud. Now we have Likud vs. Likud, part 2, starring Ministers Moshe "Bogie" Ya'alon and Gil'ad Erdan.

Arutz 7: Homefront Minister Threatens to Quit over Defense Ministry Spat
Gilad Erdan on Thursday struck back against Moshe Ya'alon, who on Wednesday implied that Erdan was “dead weight” on the government.

David Lev, January 23, 2014

Gilad Erdan
Home Front
Security Minister
Homefront Security Ministry Minister Gilad Erdan on Thursday struck back against Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon, who on Wednesday implied that Erdan was “dead weight” on the government. Speaking Wednesday, Ya'alon said that the Homefront Ministry was “a waste of public money,” and that any responsibility for the safety of Israelis, whether on the battlefield or the home front, was his.

"Regarding the argument about home front defense and the Home Front Command, I'm not avoiding responsibility," Ya’alon said on Wednesday. "The responsibility is mine. Across the board. We can’t split the issue and establish a Ministry to give orders to the Home Front Command, and the Chief of Staff will give orders to the Home Front Command, and I will give them orders. I’ve never heard of such a thing.”

Instead of having a separate ministry for issues related to home front defense, argued Ya’alon, the responsibilities should be given to a deputy minister within the Ministry of Defense, as has been the case in the past.

"Once you start to split the responsibilities because of political considerations, and certainly if you start to build a Ministry with a CEO, with an independent legal capacity, an independent budget etc, it is a waste of public money,” he said.

It was the most public display of what has apparently been an ongoing spat between the two, and Erdan did not take the criticism well. Speaking Thursday, Erdan said that if his office was irrelevant, it was Ya'alon himself who was making it so.

Moshe "Bogie" Ya'alon
Defense Minister
“The Defense Minister is preventing the transfer of several homefront responsibilities to my office,” Erdan said. “He won't let me do my job, and then he complains that I can't do the job and that my ministry should be closed down.”

Erdan said that the Defense Ministry has not yet released several million shekels for manpower and equipment needed for the ministry – a relative pittance compared to the NIS 60 billion ($17 billion) that the Defense Ministry swallows up annually.

“If anyone wants to examine public waste, I suggest we start with the biggest budget sectors,” a Homefront Command Ministry official was quoted as saying Wednesday. Erdan said that if the money was not forthcoming, “I will indeed leave this post.”

Esser Agaroth (2¢):
Well, I must admit that Defense Minister Moshe "Bogie" Ya'alon makes some good points.

On the other hand, so does Homefront Defense Minister Gil'ad Erdan.

It is not so clear exactly who acting, based on political considerations, quite possibly both of them.

However, what caught my was that although Ya'alon made it to position #8 on the Likud Party list, in the last set of primaries (2013), Erdan reached position #4. After combining the Likud and Yisrael Beiteinu lists Ya'alon was lowered #12, and Erdan to #5. Either way you slice it, Erdan appears to have had more of a

So, why is Ya'alon going after Erdan? Does he really believe in what he is saying about the waste and the politics involved

Making it to #3 is pretty a guaranteed ministerial portfolio. Was the Homefront Ministry created to keep an apparently too popular Erdan off on the sidelines? Or was the creation of this ministry really thought to be a good idea, and good investment in Israel's security? Or perhaps both, as it would keep Ya'alon and Erdan from fighting, if they were placed in the same Defense Ministry, in the tradition model Ya'alon mentions above.

In any case, it seems that one, if not both, of these Likud Ministers is vying for power.

Meanwhile, who's watching the fort?

To be continued...

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