In a move that cannot be described as anything short of a political bombshell, Minister of Communications and Social Welfare (Likud) Moshe Kahlon announced he will not be seeking a slot in the next Knesset and plans to step down ahead of the upcoming general election.
Kahlon, who is said to be very close to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu told reporters on Sunday that he told the prime minister when he was elected that this was a one-term stint, and now, “it’s time to move on”. He denied reports that he had a falling out with the prime minister, adding he was pained at unfounded reports of conflict and worse erupting between him and Mr. Netanyahu. He explained he simply has other things to do, and he did not rule out seeking to reenter politics one day in the future.
For Likud, Kahlon’s resignation is a significant loss, for he was quite popular among politicians and voters alike.
MK (Labor) Daniel Ben-Simon told Israel Radio that he is a close colleague with Kahlon and he knows for a fact that the minister is resigning because he can no longer be a part of a government that is crushing the working class, explaining that he objects to the financial policies of the government and has realized he is a lone voice in the party and prefers to step down rather than shoulder the responsibility of decisions that negate his hashkafa. Ben-Simon stated the minister has had a ‘falling out’ with the prime minister — not the result of personal issues but due to the government’s fiscal policies.
(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)