Moshe Ya’alon’s Telem Party reportedly requested its own registration form to sign up for the September 17 election.
By World Israel News Staff
MK Moshe Ya’alon’s Telem Party reportedly requested its own registration form to sign up for the September 17 election, even though the party is one of the members of the Blue and White bloc, headed by MK Benny Gantz.
The report in Israel Hayom raised eyebrows over whether Ya’alon could possibly have been considering to break away from the bloc and run independently or was at least flexing his muscles over his discontent with MK Yair Lapid, who holds the number two position on the joint list. Ya’alon has been positioned as number three.
Ya’alon has called Lapid a divisive factor, saying that his presence could hurt Blue and White. As leader of the Yesh Atid party and finance minister, Lapid touched raw nerves in the Haredi religious community by spearheading a campaign to increase military enlistment by yeshiva students and insisting on the inclusion of various non-religious subjects in the Haredi school curriculum.
A war of words is currently being waged in election advertisements between Lapid and Interior Minister Aryeh Deri, leader Shas, of one of the two Haredi parliamentary factions.
Blue and White has run a campaign based on creating unity, and Ya’alon argues that Lapid hurts that platform. In particular, Ya’alon is concerned that if Gantz is given the opportunity to form a government coalition after the September election, Haredi parties would not agree to join because of Lapid, thereby hurting Blue and White’s chances of setting up a governing majority in parliament.
Blue and White tied with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud party in the April election, and opinion polls are showing a dead heat for September.
Whether or not Ya’alon truly intends to run alone in the upcoming election will become clear very soon. The deadline for submitting party candidacies is Thursday at 10 p.m.