Moshe Ya'alon
Moshe Ya'alonNiv Kantor

Former Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon on Wednesday submitted a request to register a new party with the party registrar. The party will be called Telem, an acronym in Hebrew for “National Statesmanlike Movement”.

After submitting the request, Ya'alon said, "This is a festive day, an exciting day for the citizens of Israel, a day of hope mixed with tremendous responsibility for me and my supporters."

"I have devoted my entire life to ensuring the existence and security of the State of Israel. I served the State of Israel in an IDF uniform and in civilian life at anytime, anywhere and on any mission, along the country's borders and even beyond them, always at the head of the force, from soldier to Chief of Staff, in combat command roles always at the forefront of the IDF's operational activity, and later as Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Strategic Affairs, as Minister of Defense and as a member of the Political Security Cabinet," Ya'alon said.

He added, "I was raised and educated to take responsibility in humility and to lead, to set a personal example and to do everything in order to ensure the peace and existence of Israel. The moment has come when I once again stand as a soldier of the state under the leadership of an independent political force, in order to gain the trust of the citizens of Israel, with the goal of putting Israel back on the right track.”

"The internal and external challenges facing us require a unified and responsible leadership, an experienced and responsible leadership capable of planning and implementing what is necessary in all areas of our lives here and protecting our right to live here in security," continued Ya’alon.

Ya'alon declared that "it is time for a different leadership, a leadership that you can rely on.”

Reports last week indicated that Ya’alon and Benny Gantz, another former IDF Chief of Staff, would run in the April elections as two parties on one list.

Gantz officially registered his new party, Hosen Leyisrael (Israel Resilience Party), last week.

Ya'alon, who was previously a Likud member, served as Defense Minister from 2013 until he was replaced by Yisrael Beytenu leader Avigdor Liberman in 2016, at which time he left the Likud. His relationship with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has deteriorated since he was forced to leave his ministerial position.

Ya'alon last week vowed he would never join a government led by Netanyahu.