Israeli Alternate Prime Minister and former Prime Minister Naftali Bennett announced Monday that he will not run in this fall’s Knesset election.
Dispelling rumors that he is considering a political comeback in order to help the Zionist Spirit ticket, which is currently polling under the 3.25% electoral threshold, Bennett’s office released a statement Monday morning ruling out a Knesset run this year, while leaving the door open to a return to politics at some later date.
"He has not changed his position and does not intend to run in the upcoming elections. After a decade in politics, during which he served as Ministers of Economy, Education, and Defense, and as Prime Minister, he intends to take a break from public life."
"The year of the Bennett government proved that it is possible to run a country in a matter-of-fact manner, together, while cooperating and dialoging among parties with different positions."
"Bennett calls on all party leaders to show responsibility, to moderate and calm the discourse and not to allow internal quarrels to tear our country apart from within," his office said.
In June, after announcing that he will be stepping down as Prime Minister, Bennett told Yamina party members that he will not run in the November election.
But with recent polls showing the Zionist Spirit list – a joint ticket of Yamina and Derech Eretz – consistently failing to cross the electoral threshold, and polling suggesting Bennett’s return could put the party over the top, rumors circulated that the former premier may be mulling a Knesset bid.