Why was Ayalon dumped from Yisrael Beiteinu?

By Anshel Pfeffer, December 6, 2012

Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman’s decision to his drop is deputy, Danny Ayalon, from the list of Yisrael Beiteinu candidates was expected by no-one, including Mr Ayalon himself.

Mr Lieberman has offered no reason for effectively firing the former envoy to Washington who was once considered Yisrael Beiteinu’s star signing. The most popular rumour is that Mr Lieberman suspected Mr Ayalon of leaking to journalists. According to the rumour, Mr Ayalon had been saying that he would be appointed foreign minister once Mr Lieberman resigned over the corruption indictment.

This is the only allegation that Mr Ayalon has so far publicly denied.

Another theory is that Mr Ayalon is being sacrificed as part of a rapprochement deal with Turkey. The flaw in this theory is that in the three years since Mr Ayalon publicly humiliated the Turkish envoy by forcing him to sit on a low chair, there has been so sign that Ankara is demanding his resignation.

Possibly, Mr Lieberman simply felt that Mr Ayalon was surplus to his political requirements. Now that has been given the power to determine a third of Likud’s Knesset list, he is at liberty to act on such instincts.

Yisrael Beiteinu MKs Anastasia Michaeli and Tourism Minister Stas Misezhnikov left politics this week, both apparently for personal reasons.

Last updated: 8:45pm, December 6 2012