Gesher chairman MK Orly Levy-Abekasis
Gesher chairman MK Orly Levy-Abekasis Haaretz Israel Democracy Conference

"The proposal to fold Gesher and not run in the elections is not an option for me," Gesher chairman MK Orly Levy-Abekasis said Thursday in an interview with journalist Uri Misgav at the Haaretz Israel Democracy Conference. "They want to make me irrelevant," she added.

Levy-Abekasis, the daughter of former Israeli foreign minister David Levy, entered the Knesset nine years ago as a member of former Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman’s Yisrael Beytenu party, but left in 2016 when the party joined the Likud-led coalition. She claimed that the party had left behind its social platform when entering the coalition and chose to serve as an independent MK in the opposition instead. She is known for her activism on behalf of children, the elderly and the poor.

"I am certain we will pass," Levy-Abekasis asserted, despite the fact that according to the polls her party will not pass the threshold. "The most recent polls - the important ones - show that we're going to pass," she emphasized.

"I didn't despair even when I was below the threshold. The polls have an Achilles' heel. If we had another way of estimating who would win, we would use it - because according to the polls - [Shimon] Peres would have beaten Bibi," she said.

Levy-Abekasis says that she doesn't have a particular fondness either for [Blue and White chairman Benny] Gantz or Bibi when asked who she would sit with following the elections. "I'm not in anyone's pocket. I would negotiate with both of them and would forge a coalition agreement in which I can maximize my political goals."

The Gesher chairman added that she wouldn't sit in a government headed by someone with a standing indictment. "It doesn't make sense - it's like a free-for-all and I won't be a part of it," she said firmly.

Regarding the "French law" (which would prevent sitting prime ministers from being indicted), Levy-Abekasis said, "There's no such animal. It's a safety net for politicians. Every public official has to be transparent and accountable to the public. I don't want to have any part in the reality of such a law."