Lawmaker Dov Khenin of the Hadash party, which is part of the Joint List, announced Tuesday that he will not run in April 9's general election.
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At a press conference in the Knesset, Khanin said that although he will not be presenting his candidacy in the next election, he will still be involved in public life.
"The ship is sailing at full speed in the wrong direction," said Khenin. "A change in direction will not come from the ship's nose, from the Knesset, but from the sails - which are the people and movements leading the struggle. This is where I'm going to invest my time."
Senior Hadash officials confirmed Monday that Khenin had told party heads of his intention to leave the Knesset after 12 years as a legislator.
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Chairman of the Joint List Ayman Odeh said in a tweet that it was his pleasure to work with Khenin. "He is a man of ideals, an excellent lawmaker who succeeded to make gains during Israel's most racist governments." He added that Khenin did not compromise when it came to social justice, and that he used his public position to give voice to the voiceless.
Khenin first entered the Knesset in 2006, and was reelected by large majorities in all of Hadash’s internal elections for the Knesset slates before the ensuing elections. His Hadash faction became part of the Joint List for the elections in 2015, even though he wasn’t in favor of the faction’s formation and was part of the camp that supported forming a Jewish-Arab slate.
As an MK, Khenin was seen as deeply involved in social and environmental issues and was very active in social justice protests. In 2008, he contended for the Tel Aviv mayoralty.
Hadash has always made sure a Jewish candidate was high enough on the party ticket to have a reasonable chance of securing a Knesset seat. Several veteran Jewish Hadash activists are expected to contend for Khenin’s slot.