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Ex-IDF chief Eisenkot, former Yamina minister Kahana join Gantz-led ‘National Camp’

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After weeks of anticipation, former military chief Gadi Eisenkot on Sunday officially took the plunge into politics, declaring that he will run for the Knesset together with the Blue and White and New Hope parties under a unified center-right list.

Yamina MK Matan Kahana, who is deputy religious affairs minister in the outgoing government, will also run on the new slate in a yet-to-be-announced slot.

Eisenkot will take the third spot in the so-called “HaMahane HaMamlachti,” unofficially translated as “National Camp,” behind Defense Minister Benny Gantz and Justice Minister Gideon Sa’ar, who respectively head Blue and White and New Hope. Gantz and Sa’ar joined political fortunes in July and on Sunday rebranded their joint list from the unwieldy Blue and White-New Hope.

A longtime friend of Gantz, Eisenkot succeeded his new political partner in the Israel Defense Forces, taking over as chief of staff from Gantz and serving from 2015 to 2019. Nevertheless, Eisenkot was said to be heavily courted by Prime Minister Yair Lapid’s Yesh Atid party and the retired general took weeks to finalize a decision in the run-up to the November 1 election.

Although former generals entering politics have had mixed success, their entry is often hotly anticipated and expected to deliver electoral tailwinds. Eisenkot was strongly expected to enter the current race, but took his time in deciding where to land. Rather than being a flash in the pan, Eisenkot is said to want to be in politics for the next decade and was reportedly searching for a political home aligned with both his values and his ambitions.

A sticking point for the former general was his interest in building........

© The Times of Israel

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