Moshe Yaalon
Moshe Yaalonצילום: אלעד גוטמן

The Telem party will run on its own in this year’s Knesset election, splitting off from the Yesh Atid party it was hitherto allied with, party chairman Moshe Ya’alon announced Sunday evening.

Speaking in an addressed televised via Facebook, MK Ya’alon, who previously served as IDF chief of staff and Defense Minister, announced that his Telem party will not run on a joint list with Yesh Atid, with which it is currently aligned, but will instead offer an independent Knesset slate.

“The State of Israel is in its worst leadership crisis ever,” Ya’alon said. “Our prime minister has a conflict of interest with the State of Israel. He prevented us from passing a state budget, and he has prevented senior officials from being appointed.”

“Netanyahu has taken our interests hostage,” Ya’alon continued, before unveiling Telem’s candidate list for the 24th Knesset election.

“Our interests have been enslaved to [Netanyahu’s] narrow interests, and he tries over and over again to deface our democracy.”

Ya’alon explained his decision to run separately from Yesh Atid, which Telem has been aligned with in the Knesset since the breakup of the larger Blue and White alliance, which Telem ran with in the three previously elections.

“More than half a million voters who voted for Blue and White in the last election tell pollsters that they will now vote for Bennett, Shaked, Smotrich, Sa’ar, and Elkin – people who repeatedly helped bring this corrupt regime to power.”

“Therefore, it is crucial that we create an alternative which the public can rely upon. Only thus do we have a chance for change.”

Telem, the smallest of the three factions which united on the joint Blue and White ticket in the three previous elections, included two center-right candidates prominently in its previous Knesset slates: Zvi Hauser and Yoaz Hendel, who broke away last year to form the Derech Eretz party, before joining Gideon Sa’ar’s New Hope faction in December.