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Why Ya'alon's departure from Defense Ministry should worry Bibi

The resignation of Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon from his post following the appointment of Avigdor Liberman to his job leaves the Likud party without any moderate senior figures.

When Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu recruited Lt. Gen. Moshe (Bogie) Ya'alon to the Likud on the eve of the 2009 elections, he was chairman of the parliamentary opposition and seeking to portray his right-wing party as moderate and pragmatic.

Netanyahu, who was running for prime minister at the time, invested tremendous effort into shaking off the extremist image with which the Likud had been associated after party rebels opposed to the Israeli 2005 pullout from Gaza caused Prime Minister Ariel Sharon to split and establish the Kadima Party.

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