Hendel announces will not run in next election

Carrie Keller-Lynn is a former political and legal correspondent for The Times of Israel

Yoaz Hendel in Modi'in, December 5, 2021. (Tomer Neuberg/Flash90)
Yoaz Hendel in Modi'in, December 5, 2021. (Tomer Neuberg/Flash90)

Communications Minister and Derech Eretz party head Yoaz Hendel bows out of the upcoming Knesset race, just three days after ending his Zionist Spirit alliance with Yamina leader Ayelet Shaked.

“In five election campaigns, I tried to lead the voice of the stately right in the State of Israel. I am proud of the fact that I have been diplomatic all along. I am retiring from the current round with an ache in my heart, but with great pride and love for this nation and for Israeli society,” Hendel says.

Since joining politics in 2019, the journeyman politician has migrated from Blue and White, to forming his own Derech Eretz party, to aligning with New Hope, and finally to hitching his fortunes to the failed Zionist Spirit experiment with Shaked.

Shaked and Hendel launched their party to speak to ideological right-wing voters bothered by extremist elements in the Likud-led right-religious bloc. They promised to push for the formation of a broad unity government, but their vision failed to capture support from the electorate and the party consistently polled below the electoral threshold necessary to enter Knesset in November.

Hendel and Shaked largely disagreed over supporting Likud leader Benjamin Netanyahu to form a government after the elections.

Shaked announced earlier today that she plans to run at the top of a unified list with her old party Jewish Home, under the Jewish Home name. The decision is awaiting final approval from Jewish Home leadership.

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