Sunday's political summary: Tzaga Malko, a prominent figure in the Ethiopian immigrant community and a former director of Israel Radio’s Reshet Alef station, will be running for Knesset as No. 3 on Moshe Kahlon’s Kulanu list, making her the highest-ranking woman in a slate that has three women in the top seven slots. Read full article here
10:00 P.M. Yair Lapid’s Yesh Atid party is in talks with Elazar Stern about including him on the party’s slate for the next Knesset. Stern, a former head of the Israel Defense Forces’ Manpower Directorate, is currently an MK for Hatnuah, which essentially disintegrated after its leader, Tzipi Livni, joined forces with the Labor Party.
The negotiations are being conducted by Yesh Atid faction chairman MK Ofer Shelah, who is a great admirer of Stern. Shelah is also very close to Lapid, which makes it likely that some kind of deal with Stern will emerge.
Shelah confirmed that the party is talking with Stern, saying, “Yesh Atid has not yet made him a concrete offer.” Some party sources say Stern has been offered a place in slots 11-20, an offer he isn’t happy with.
After the Knesset dissolved and Livni moved to Labor, Stern and fellow Hatnuah MK David Tsur considered forming their own faction, so they could retain the right to the party funding their seats represent. They were given a legal green light to do so, but ultimately decided against it. “If there is even a speck of dust of an ethical problem, we will give up the budget we are entitled to by law and leave it in your hands – or, more accurately, in Labor’s hands,” the two wrote to Livni.
Before the 2013 election, Stern had considered joining Yesh Atid after serving as a consultant to Lapid. (Yarden Skop, Jonathan Lis)
11:19 A.M. Aryeh Deri to re-join Shas, will notify party of his intention to remain chairman
Aryeh Deri will re-join Shas, and will notify the party of his intentions to remain chairman.
Deri submitted his resignation from the Knesset on December 30, following the release of recordings of damning statements by the late Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, the party's founder and spiritual leader. (Yair Ettinger) Read full article here
9:34 A.M. Yisrael Beiteinu minister Faina Kirshenbaum to leave Knesset
Yisrael Beiteinu MK and Deputy Interior Minister Faina Kirshenbaum announced on Monday she will not seek re-election, citing her intention to devote her time in proving her innocence in the so-called Yisrael Beiteinu corruption probe.
Dozens of public officials have been detained in connection with the broader police investigation, involving suspicions of illegal payment of funds to certain organizations, money laundering, granting improper personal favors, bribery and improper promotions allegedly provided to associates. Kirshenbaum was questioned again on Monday morning. (Haaretz) Read full article here