Ron Huldai
Ron HuldaiMiriam Alster/Flash 90

The Mayor of Tel Aviv-Yafo, Ron Huldai, will announce on Tuesday at 8:00 p.m. that he is going into national politics and will establish a new party that will run in the elections for the 24th Knesset.

"Hundreds of thousands of Israelis feel they have no home in the current political system," Huldai said and promised, "We will lift their spirits and give them back their hope. After a number of key figures in the Israeli public have joined me, it was time to present a clear alternative."

Huldai, 76, has served as the mayor of Tel Aviv for the past 22 years. Prior to that, he was the headmaster of the Herzliya Hebrew Gymnasium in Tel Aviv. He served as a fighter pilot in the Air Force and was discharged from the IDF with the rank of brigadier general.

Huldai has made clear several times in recent months that he would run for the Knesset in the next election. A recent poll found that Huldai would take vote from Blue and White and Benny Gantz and would result in Blue and White winning just four seats and barely passing the electoral threshold.

Meanwhile on the right, the quiet contacts continue between Yamina chairman Naftali Bennett and the National Union chairman Bezalel Smotrich, in order to preserve the partnership on the Yamina slate.

"I unequivocally want Smotrich on the list in the upcoming elections," Bennett said in an interview on Galei Tzahal (Army Radio) on Monday. "We will put aside all the matters over which we are in dispute until we rescue Israel."

During the interview, Bennett attacked Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu for his conduct during the coronavirus crisis. "The vaccines do not take away from Netanyahu the responsibility for the failure in the past year," he said.

He also attacked former Knesset member and minister Ze’ev Elkin who left the Likud this week to join Gideon Sa’ar.

"Elkin split the Ministry of Infrastructure and Energy, then dismantled the Ministry of Education into particles. What did he do with the Ministry of Water and the Youth Movements? Nothing," charged Bennett.