Photo Credit: Yonatan Sindel/Flash90; Netanyahu's office
Jonathan Pollard & MK Ayoob Kara

MK Ayoob Kara (Likud) who returned to the Knesset only a week ago following the resignation of MK Sharren Haskel, on Wednesday he congratulated Jonathan Pollard on his return to Israel after 35 years in an American prison and suggested adding him to the Likud slate for the Knesset.

MK Kara said: “Jonathan Pollard, welcome to the Land of Israel. The people of Israel thank you very much for your concern and your endeavors for the security and existence of the State of Israel.”

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He added: “For years we waited for the moment when you would make aliyah to Eretz Israel and, thank God, this day has come.”

MK Kara argued that the Likud has room for only one reserved slot: “For the victory of Netanyahu and the right, I am in favor of a single worthy, successful, and unique reserved slot on the Likud list for Jonathan Pollard, nd supports him with all my might.”

“At the same time, I propose to stop the phenomenon of reserving slots on any Knesset list, most of which have been failures. All the other reserved slots must be abolished and go to primaries as is the Likud’s tradition which has been determined by the Likud court, and let whoever is worthy win.”

Large parties such as Likud usually attempt to secure the representation in its Knesset delegation of party members from less powerful sectors, such as the periphery, the Negev and Galilee, women, and Ethiopians, who might otherwise not be elected. Likud Chairman Netanyahu has demanded four to five such reserved slots, which would potentially push down members who won a realistic spot in the primaries but would nevertheless be edged out in favor of a reserved candidate.

Kara was the victim of this system in the past two Knesset elections and complained that his enemies in the party had degraded his slot because they feared the success he had three years ago in forging ties with the UAE well before the current normalization.

During his time as Communications Minister, Kara was one of the closest ministers to Prime Minister Netanyahu who, nevertheless, allowed him to fail.

Kara was born in 1955 in the Druze village of Daliat al-Carmel near Haifa. In his youth, he attended the Kfar Galim Agricultural High School and the Kadouri Agricultural Boarding School. He spent his vacations with a couple of Jewish Holocaust survivors. Before he enlisted in the IDF, he trained in Hapoel Nahariya soccer club. In 1976, he became the first Druze to play in a senior league in Israel, as a defender for the Bnei Yehuda Tel Aviv club.

Kara defines himself as an Israeli patriot and an ardent Zionist. Politically, he is located in the rightwing of the Likud movement and is one of the Knesset members who were nicknamed the “rebels” for opposing PM Ariel Sharon’s disengagement plan in Gaza. On the eve of the disengagement, Kara visited Gush Katif and stayed in a protest encampment against the disengagement.

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David writes news at JewishPress.com.