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Former Mossad chief to launch retirees political party

Danny Yatom, also a former Labor MK, begins process of registering party, which will focus on issues relating to senior citizens

Ex-Mossad chief Danny Yatom (photo credit: Olivier Fitoussi /Flash90)
Ex-Mossad chief Danny Yatom (photo credit: Olivier Fitoussi /Flash90)

Former head of the Mossad intelligence agency Danny Yatom is expected to launch a new retirees political party this week.

Alongside Yatom, Israeli philosopher Asa Kasher, economist Shlomo Maoz, doctor and lawyer Rachel Adato, and music conductor Nancy Brandes are expected to feature on the party slate.

Similar to the former “Pensioners of Israel” party, which won seven seats in the 2006 elections but failed to pass the electoral threshold in 2009 and 2013 and was dismantled during the 2015 elections, the new party headed by Yatom will focus on elderly affairs.

The new party is already in the middle of registration procedures, with a formal announcement expected this week, according to a report Monday by Army Radio.

After a 30-year career in the IDF, peaking as the head of the Central Command, Yatom served as military secretary, first under prime minister Yitzhak Rabin and then, when Rabin was murdered, under Shimon Peres.

Outgoing Mossad director Shabtai Shavit (left) hands over to his successor Danny Yatom at a 1996 ceremony at the Prime Minister’s Office (GPO)

He headed the Mossad from 1996 until 1998, was chief of staff for prime minister Ehud Barak in 1999-2001, and went on to serve as a Knesset member for Labor from 2003 to 2008.

Yatom is a strident critic of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Yotam’s new party joins a crowded field, with Tel Aviv Mayor Ron Huldai, former Finance Ministry accountant general Yaron Zelekha, former Yesh Atid MK Ofer Shelah, and former Likud MK Gideon Sa’ar establishing new parties over the last few weeks, as Israel gears up for a fourth election in two years.

Elections were called last month after the power-sharing government of Likud and Blue and White failed to agree on a budget by a December 23 deadline. The election is set to take place on March 23, 2021.

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