MK Tal Russo, second on Labor list, quits politics

IDF General (Res) and MK Tal Russo, a close ally of Labor chief Avi Gabbay, announces retirement from politics.

David Rosenberg ,

MK Tal Russo
MK Tal Russo
Tomer Neuberg/Flash90

Labor MK Tal Russo, who ran on the number two slot in the Labor slate in the April elections, announced Monday morning that he will be resigning from politics at the end of the current term.

In a surprise move Monday, Russo announced in a Facebook post that he would not be running in the elections for the 22nd Knesset, slated for September 17th.

“Friends, I went into politics four months ago with great plans to change the Labor party and the State of Israel, no less,” Russo wrote. “But given the circumstances we find ourselves – early elections and new primaries to choose the leader of the [Labor] party after such a short period of time – I won’t be able to do the things I had hoped. I don’t want to be part of the struggle over an inheritance [of the leadership of the party], so I remove my candidacy for control of the party and from the Knesset list for the 22nd Knesset.”

Russo announced his departure from politics less than a month and a half after he was sworn in as a member of the 21st Knesset – his first and only term in the Israeli legislature.

A general in the IDF reserves, Russo is a close ally of Labor chief Avi Gabbay, who appointed Russo to the number two spot on the party’s slate for the 21st Knesset.

Gabbay, who came under fire from Labor MKs prior to the election as the party failed to make headway in the polls, faced calls for his resignation after Labor won just six seats in the April election – its worst performance in history.

Several Labor MKs have announced plans to run in the party’s leadership primaries, slated for July 2nd, including former party chairman and ex-Defense Minister Amir Peretz and MK Stav Shaffir.