Former Finance Ministry accountant-general Prof. Yaron Zelekha announced on Wednesday night that he is forming a new political party focused on economic issues called “The Economic Party” and is joining the race for the next Knesset.
Zelekha slammed the current government’s management of the coronavirus crisis, saying that the repeated lockdowns have led to economic devastation for hundreds of thousands of Israelis.
“My goal is to save Israel from economic destruction,” Zelekha said, adding that his intention is to be appointed as the Finance Minister in the next government and make efforts to lower the cost of living and break up monopolies.
Zelekha served as accountant-general in the Finance Ministry from 2003 to 2007 under then Finance Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, becoming one of the leaders of the opposition against Netanyahu after leaving his position. He currently serves as the head of the accounting department at the Ono Academic Campus.
Several months ago, during a protest against Netanyahu, Zelekha took advantage of the coronavirus crisis to fiercely incite against the Chareidi sector, even using age old anti-Semitic tropes of Chareidim carrying disease.
“What was the health-related logic that led [the Chareidi sector] to bring thousands of avreichim from the US here while we’re all in lockdown?” Zelekhas aid. “What health-related logic led them to open the shuls and close all the businesses? What health-related logic led them to close all the malls and retail stores on Shabbos and at the same time plan to bring another 17,000 COVID-19 ridden avreichim?”
MK Moshe Arbel (Shas) responded to Zelekha’s announcement by stating: “As a graduate of Ono Law School, I welcome the belated departed of Yaron Zelekha from Ono. His public incitement and lies against the Chareidi sector are evidence of the fact that he does not deserve the trust of the thousands of Chareidi students that study there.”
In other political news, another Blue and White MK bit the dust on Thursday when Education Committee chairman Ram Shefa announced he is leaving the party.
His announcement follows those of Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi, Justice Minister Avi Nissenkorn, and MKs Michal Cotler-Wunsh, Assaf Zamir and Miki Haimovich.
(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)