Former Justice Minister Avi Nissenkorn, who left Benny Gantz's Kahol Lavan party to join Tel Aviv Mayor Ron Huldai's The Israelis, informed his new ally on Sunday that he has decided to "take a break from political life."
Nissenkorn was second on the party's election roster, and resigned as justice minister in December after Netanyahu and Gantz allegedly reached a quid pro quo deal which would see his powers curbed.
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In his statement, Nissenkorn said that at a time when the center-left bloc needs alliances in order to survive, and suffers from a saturation of candidates and parties, " I have decided that it is better to step aside and take a time out." Nissenkorn also expressed his appreciation for Huldai and the other members of the alliance.
Huldai's relationship with Nissenkorn has allegedly become strained of late over The Israelis' poor showing in recent polls, yet in a statement, Huldai thanked Nissenkorn for his work.
"I respect Avi's decision, and thank him for our shared journey. I will continue to work tirelessly to unite Israel’s center-left,” Huldai said.
“It’s clear to me that the only way to create a joint force will be together, and everyone will need to give up their personal ambitions. The public wants unity now – and I’m focused on bringing it to them.”
A public opinion poll released by Channel 12 News on January 26 projected that Huldai’s The Israelis party would not get enough votes to enter the Knesset, a reversal of the party’s situation in the channel’s previous poll a week ago.
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The same poll predicted that Israel's Labor Party would likely get enough votes to pass the electoral threshold under the leadership of newly elected chairperson Merav Michaeli, receiving four seats in the poll.