Kulanu MK to leave party, says faction has moved to the right

Social activist-turned-MK Rachel Azariya won't run on Kulanu ticket this year, saying party has moved too far to the right for her comfort.

David Rosenberg ,

Rachel Azaria
Rachel Azaria
,Hadas Faroush, Flash 90

MK Rachel Azariya may run for a second term in the Knesset in this year’s legislative election – but not with the Kulanu party.

Azariya, a social activist and former Jerusalem deputy mayor who ran for the Knesset with Kulanu in 2015, has signaled that she will not remain a part of the faction’s Knesset delegation after the new elections in April.

Kulanu party chief Moshe Kahlon informed Azariya that he will not include her on the party’s Knesset list for the upcoming elections – a decision Azariya said was the result of a parting of ways between her and the rest of her faction that has been long in coming.

Speaking with Israel Radio, Azariya said that she and Kahlon had long recognized that she no longer fit in the party.

“It has been clear to Kahlon and myself that the differences between us have grown. The party has changed, moved to the right. I don’t want to have another term in office where I have to grit my teeth and vote for things that I don’t agree with, like the ‘Recommendations Law’” barring publication of police recommendations for indictments in certain cases, “and the Cultural Loyalty Law,” which permits the Culture Minister to withdraw state funding of artists or organizations which support terror or oppose Israel’s character as a Jewish, democratic state.

While Azariya says she may run for the Knesset this year with a different party, she did not elaborate on which faction she may consider joining.

Recent polls show Kulanu, which won 10 seats in 2015, falling to between five to seven mandates.

Fellow Kulanu MK Yoav Galant, who served as Building and Housing Minister for most of the 20th Knesset, before being appointed Immigration Minister, also recently left Kulanu, joining the Likud.