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BIG MAN, SHORT KNIFE

Former Foreign Office Director Says Likud Demanded Ayalon’s Ouster, Liberman Denies

"When Danny Ayalon was ambassador in Washington, he had a bad falling out with his boss then, Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom."
Former Foreign Ministry Director Alon Liel (R), with Dr. Ibrahim Suleiman, a Syrian representative in talks about returning the Golan Heights to Assad.

Former Foreign Ministry Director Alon Liel (R), with Dr. Ibrahim Suleiman, a Syrian representative in talks about returning the Golan Heights to Assad.
Photo Credit: Yossi Zamir/Flash 90

Before we start, you should know that a senior adviser at the Yisrael Beitenu party who read this article says it’s completely wrong, but doesn’t know the real reason for Ayalon’s dismissal.

Now we can start:

The morning after the surprise dismissal of Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon from the Likud Beiteinu list by his party boss Avigdor Liberman, Israel Channel 2 News interviewed Alon Liel, a former director of the ministry of foreign affairs and the Israeli ambassador to Turkey, who said that the career ending move stemmed from an old dispute between Likud Minister Silvan Shalom and Ayalon.

“When Danny Ayalon was ambassador in Washington, he had a bad falling out with his boss then, Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom,” Liel told Channel 2 news. “From what I know and remember, when Ayalon finished his assignment, he wanted to join the Likud and was unequivocally vetoed by Shalom.”

“I think those old wounds were opened now,” Liel continued. “Maybe (the removal of Ayalon) was even one of the preconditions for the consolidation of Israel Beiteinu and Likud. That’s how I see it.”

The office of senior Vice Prime Minister and current Minister for Regional Development and the development of the Negev and Galilee Silvan Shalom said in response that they have no knowledge of the allegation. “This misinformation has no connection to reality,” they concluded.

The Foreign Minister’s office was a great deal harsher in its response (you can almost hear the Russian accent emanating from the text): “Alon Liel will say any nonsense to get air time, and he takes advantage of the fact that he served for about three months as director of this ministry to express his insignificant opinions.”

The ministry’s response went on to remind readers that Liel used to head an organization that advocated giving back the Golan Heights to the Syrian regime, “and the consequences of such a move are realized by everyone today.”

You must remember, after sticking in the knife, ya’ gotta’ turn it a couple times…

Incidentally, rumor has it that Liberman and Ayalon were riding together to the press conference where Liberman was about to announce his list of candidates to join the list elected in a democratic primary by Likid members (silly notion, right?), when Liberman turned to his deputy and said, “By the way, you’re not running.”

Again, The Jewish Press source in the foreign ministry says Ayalon had known about his own dismissal for some time. But Ayalon’s facebook page yesterday offered this comment:

“Today, I was informed by Yisrael Beytenu Chairman Avigdor Liberman that I will not be a candidate for the next Knesset.”

And that’s all she wrote…

About the Author: Yori Yanover has been a working journalist since age 17, before he enlisted and worked for Ba'Machane Nachal. Since then he has worked for Israel Shelanu, the US supplement of Yedioth, JCN18.com, USAJewish.com, Lubavitch News Service, Arutz 7 (as DJ on the high seas), and the Grand Street News. He has published Dancing and Crying, a colorful and intimate portrait of the last two years in the life of the late Lubavitch Rebbe, (in Hebrew), and two fun books in English: The Cabalist's Daughter: A Novel of Practical Messianic Redemption, and How Would God REALLY Vote.


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4 Responses to “Former Foreign Office Director Says Likud Demanded Ayalon’s Ouster, Liberman Denies”

  1. Stephen Leavitt says:

    I don't know. What about the possibility that Ayalon was promised an Ambassadorship? That's also a good reason to not be on the list.

  2. well, we could add his wife's activities who some rather militant anti-missionary forces view with disfavor but that's ridiculous given the non-Jewish Russians voting.

  3. Sharon Marks Altshul says:

    Danny Ayalon did a great job in Washington and made great many friends for Israel. It was Avigdor Lieberman, before his make-over, that was a disaster when he spoke after Colin Powell at an Israel Embassy event, still cringe when I remember it.

  4. Hadar Israel says:

    Indeed that IS a problem…even if in the superassimilated and assimilationist Likud leadership it might not be viewed as such… Hasn't Israel got anyone who is at least as good but is not married to a non Jewish Xtian missionary?

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